Tom Wilson spoke to SEN 1116 ahead of his 100th game next weekend. (PHOTO CREDIT: Amy Paton)
Tom Wilson sung the praises of senior coach Josh Fraser as the Northern Blues captain prepares for an upcoming milestone.
Wilson is scheduled to play his 100th game next weekend against Box Hill — the first Northern Blue to reach the mark since Brent Bransgrove two seasons ago.
Speaking to 1116 SEN’s Peter Jackson VFL Show, Wilson spoke of the influence that Fraser has had on his career to date.
“‘Frase’ has been terrific since he walked through the door,” Wilson said.
“He’s worked incredibly hard behind the scenes to help us off-field, but also his communication skills and his ability to work with a younger group have been second to none.”
Wilson took over from Bransgrove as captain of the club in 2016 — Fraser’s first year as coach of the Blues.
“For me personally, I had an injury interrupted pre-season at the start of 2016 but he backed me all the way,” Wilson said.
“It arguably result in the best season I’ve had at the club, and he’s been a power of support both on and off the field. He’s been brilliant for us.”
In the wide-ranging interview with Jack Heverin and Adem Saricaoglu, Wilson said the impending 100-game milestone was one he’d look back on at the end of his career.
Wilson was a second-gamer the last time the Blues made finals in 2011: the captain said his sole focus was returning the club to that stage.
“There’s been some lean times throughout the 100 games, but we’re hoping that this season and the weekend can be the start of something pretty special,” Wilson said.
“I got to see my good mate Brent Bransgrove play his 100th game… It’s something that I’m going to look back on and be really proud of. I can’t believe it’s been eight years.
“At the moment, I’m just enjoying it and trying to get the football club — along with all of the other boys — back in finals contention.”
ICYMI | Another cracking Peter Jackson @VFL show!@NBluesFC @tomwillo23 + @CaseyDemonsFC #SwisseVFLW coach Damien Keeping joined @JackHeverin + @AdemSaricaoglu with all the action! https://t.co/tlO1V756Et
— The Sporting Capital (@SportCapitalSEN) May 8, 2018
Wilson has seen the extensive amount of change the club has undertaken over a number of years, including the changes at selection and the demise of the Development League at the end of last year.
“With the AFL alignment, you get selection changes and injuries which has a domino effect on you at VFL level as well,” Wilson said.
“The game plan and structures stay the same: we talk about density and making sure we have enough depth that when opportunity arises, we can come in and play our role for the team.
“That’s been the main theme over the last few years under Josh Fraser that when you’re called upon, be ready to take the opportunity.”
The Blues are preparing for their clash with Williamstown this weekend, before heading to Box Hill to take on the Hawks in Wilson’s 100th game.