CARLTON forward Matthew Watson appears set to capitalise on his strong end to last season after booting six goals in the Blues' intra-club match on Friday.
The 22-year-old, who has thrived since being moved from defence in the VFL in the middle of last season, was the standout forward in the scratch match at Ikon Park.
He had three goals to half-time before a booming kick from outside 50m gave him his fourth early in the third quarter, ahead of a late pair in last quarter.
Assistant coach Rob Wiley said afterwards Watson, who has trained with the forwards this pre-season, could still be called upon to fill a role in defence when required.
But, the Blues were enjoying what he was currently showing in attack.
"He's a talented big man and he's been at the club a number of years, and we saw in the last game against Essendon [last year] we sent him forward and he's got the capabilities to kick goals," Wiley said.
"We've been really pleased with the way he's progressed over the pre-season.
"Footy's pretty flexible these days and he knows how to play back; it's just about getting the right formula and the right structures.
"At the moment, he's fitting in really well so we'll play guys who can kick goals."
New Blue Liam Jones booted two goals while Dylan Buckley, Dale Thomas, Tom Bell and Patrick Cripps impressed, as did young forward Clem Smith with a neat check side goal in traffic.
Veteran midfielder Chris Judd was heavily rotated but moved well when he was involved in the action, and Kade Simpson was consistent before he was taken off late in the game, along with defender Michael Jamison.
First-round draft pick Blaine Boekhorst showed some positive signs and kicked a goal before courageously flying for a mark in the fourth quarter and landing on flat on his back.
He wasn't injured but took his time getting up after being momentarily stunned in the fall.
Young forward Troy Menzel sent a scare through the ranks after limping off with a right quad injury in the second term.
The 20-year-old, who had LARS surgery on his right knee when he was 16, threw himself on the ball early in quarter and struggled to get up.
He was helped off by trainers, strongly favouring his right side.
After being treated on the boundary, Menzel walked to the rooms with his right quad heavily strapped.
He didn't return and the Blues later confirmed he had suffered a cork to his right quad.
"These games you've just got to make sure you take a few precautions, there was no need for him to continue playing," Wiley said.
"They all came through pretty well, which is also pleasing."
Menzel's brother Daniel has undergone four knee reconstructions at Geelong.
Irish rookie Ciaran Sheehan also looked to have hurt his leg late in the game and tried to run it off before leaving the field.
The likes of Bryce Gibbs, Andrew Walker, Sam Docherty and Chris Yarran didn't play, while Matthew Kreuzer was another absentee after suffering another fracture to his right foot this week.
Gibbs, Yarran and Robbie Warnock were among those who missed as part of their pre-season management but Walker continues to rehabilitate the knee he had operated on last year.
Wiley said he remained "touch and go" for round one against Richmond on April 2, but was progressing well.
The teams were filled with 10 players from the club's VFL affiliate the Northern Blues.
Jamison said the match had given the players a solid hit-out before their first NAB Challenge match against West Coast next Friday in Perth.
"It's always good playing yourself because every player can have a run around. Some of the young kids played pretty well I thought," Jamison said.
"Usually you don't notice the young fellas until their second year intra-club, but I thought a few really stood out."
Jamison also said he wasn't sure if he would run out against the Eagles with the Blues set to play plenty of youngsters across their three pre-season games.