JACK Martin has delivered an exciting glimpse of what he will add to Carlton's mix in season 2020, producing an encouraging display in the club's first significant match simulation drill of the summer.
Martin, who arrived at the club via the pre-season draft after a protracted trade saga involving Gold Coast couldn't be completed during last year's Telstra AFL Trade Period, showcased his versatility and physicality across a match that spanned for three 15-minute intervals.
The 24-year-old recruit laid a host of strong tackles and look a constant threat around goal during an early stint forward, before soon moving to the half-back flank where he soared over a pack to take a nice contested intercept mark.
He also won plenty of the footy during brief spurts through the midfield, but mostly accompanied veteran duo Eddie Betts and Marc Murphy in a smaller forward line that is still without injured key-position pair Charlie Curnow (knee) and Harry McKay (groin).
Mitch McGovern was also sidelined for the match simulation part of Friday's session, with the high-flying forward running laps along the boundary throughout the morning. It left Levi Casboult and youngster Tom De Koning to do the bulk of the aerial work around goal.
But it was Martin who caught the eye of fans at Ikon Park, with the 97-game utility impressing at both ends of the field. However, despite his reading of the play across half-back, the club still expects him to spend most of his time forward of centre this season.
"His marking power means he's going to add some value there if we need him to go back," Carlton assistant coach Dale Amos told AFL.com.au after the session.
"But early in the season, we think we'll predominantly see him play mid-forward. That's what he's done for most of pre-season.
"He's a hard worker, so sometimes he gets a long way back to try and help us defend. That probably looks like he's playing deeper than he really is.
"But I think he'll probably play most of the time forward and through the midfield, particularly in the early part of the season anyway."
David Cuningham was perhaps the standout of Friday morning's match simulation drill, playing largely through the midfield where he demonstrated his class at stoppages and his turn of speed with ball in hand.
He capped the session with a nice goal from outside 50m, while fellow young onballer Paddy Dow also showed plenty of promise and went forward late in the match to kick two clever goals.
Co-captain Sam Docherty played the entirety of the match and was assured in defence as he continues his recovery from successive seasons on the sidelines due to back-to-back ACL injuries, while young defender Tom Williamson also played the full game.
Williamson made 15 appearances for the Blues in his maiden season with the club in 2017, but has managed just two games in the past two years due to ongoing and debilitating back injuries.
Betts was lively playing as the deepest option in the forward line, while fellow new recruit in delisted free agent Jack Newnes was reliable with the footy and saw plenty of the action when he was given space on the outside.
"He'll play both on a wing and across half-back," Amos said.
"He's got great flexibility and he's really fitted in well. He's a really consistent performer and he's going to be really important for our group, given he can do that.
"He played wing and half-back today, but he's played forward as well and he can certainly play inside so that flexibility will be really important for us."
Former Western Bulldogs player Lukas Webb is still training with the main group as he aims for a second chance on an AFL list via the Pre-Season Supplement Selection Period (SSP).
Jack Silvagni, Matt Kennedy, Caleb Marchbank and Brodie Kemp joined Curnow, McKay and McGovern in Carlton's rehab group, not taking part in the match simulation drill.