ASSISTANT coach Matthew Scarlett has backed young Geelong defender Jack Henry to take his game to another level in 2020.
The 21-year-old has played 45 of a possible 48 games in the last two seasons after an inspired switch to the backline during the 2018 season.
Scarlett, who is arguably Geelong’s greatest ever defender, says Henry is ready for more responsibility.
“He plays all different roles for us down back. There might be times next year where he plays on the second tall to free up Harry (Taylor) or ‘Blitz’ (Marck Blicavs) or one of those taller types,” Scarlett said.
“He’s coming along really well, Jack, and had a really good season last year. But, he’s only going to get better with his football smarts and the way he plays the game.
“He looks really confident at the moment. And when you play well in finals, it gives you a massive amount of confidence going into the next year.”
Even Scarlett says Henry’s progress after his first year on the list as a rookie in 2017 is hard to believe.
He was second only to Mark Blicavs for one percenters by a Geelong player in 2019.
“He’s a really good performer for us now,” Scarlett said. “He plays on talls and smalls and mediums; so a really versatile player.
“He’s a really good intercept marker. But I think you’ll see his attacking flair come out this year, and he’ll get a bit more of the ball and a bit more confident with the attacking side of his game.
“But, his intercept marking is how one wood at the moment.”
Geelong concluded its pre-Christmas training block with a session at Deakin University on Wednesday morning.
It included a 15-minute distance run, which Mark Blicavs won from small forward Gryan Miers.
Second-year player Jacob Kennerley was third and Sam Menegola finished fourth.
“We’ve had a pretty good training block with some pretty good numbers, Scarlett said.
“All the first-year guys have joined in in the last couple of weeks since they’ve been drafted and they look pretty good.
“And some of our younger guys look like they’ve taken the next step.”