YOUNG spearhead Harry McKay has the talent to succeed in the AFL and largely needs a good run of health to do so, Carlton assistant coach David Teague says.
McKay has played just two games in his first two seasons at Ikon Park, having been sidelined by a succession of back, foot and toe injuries since the Blues recruited him with pick No.10 in the 2015 NAB AFL Draft.
Teague, who is in charge of the Blues' forward-line group, told reporters on Tuesday Carlton was excited by the progress McKay had made over the pre-season.
"Harry wants to be the best (player) he can (be). He's growing in terms of that, but right now he needs continuity, he needs to be out there, he needs to be able to play – and not only play but train," Teague said.
"I think if we can see that and he avoids the injuries it's going to be a great opportunity for him to become the player that he wants to be.
"I think talent-wise he's there, it's just going to be (a case of) getting out there to do it against men."
McKay, 200cm and 95kg, has been named at full-forward in the Carlton team that will play St Kilda in the opening round of the JLT Community Series on Wednesday night.
Teague said McKay had put together a solid block of training over the pre-season and was well placed to push for a round one spot.
"It will be a good opportunity for him to test himself out. Obviously, he hasn't played a lot of games, but we're excited by him," Teague said.
"His [best] is good. He's got a bit of bravado amongst the group, he brings great energy to the group, so we're excited for him."
Teague said Carlton would use the JLT series to help identify the "best mix" of players in its forward line ahead of round one.