CARLTON forward Harry McKay looks primed to become the side's breakout star this season, dominating a Blues intraclub match at Ikon Park on Friday morning.
Noticeably bigger after a summer spent improving his upper-body strength, McKay kicked five goals and dished off another to teammate Zac Fisher from point-blank range amid an imposing performance as his team's deepest forward.
McKay's contested marking was the biggest feature throughout the gruelling two-hour hitout, with the 204cm key forward hoping to build upon a 2020 season where he kicked 21 goals from 13 games.
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Fellow promising youngster Sam Walsh was also among the standout performers during the session, with the third-year midfielder catching the eye following a busy display through the midfield.
Walsh was the game's best clearance player, with his gut-running from stoppages and his clever evasiveness in the contest also helping him add to the scoreboard with two nicely snapped goals from the boundary.
McKay and Walsh were part of a significantly stronger 'blue' side throughout the match simulation session, with the more established team featuring a starting midfield that also included Patrick Cripps, Ed Curnow and gun free agent recruit Zac Williams.
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A scare was sent through the Carlton camp in the opening seconds of the clash, with Williams going down after a heavy collision with Paddy Dow. He left the field for around 10 minutes, with doctors checking his jaw, before eventually returning.
Here's the Zac Williams collision, which came just seconds into this morning's intraclub. Had his jaw checked for a solid 10 minutes by club medics before returning to the field. The gun new recruit has been among the brightest on the track for the Blues this summer. @AFLcomau pic.twitter.com/vOvvKnyTb0— Riley Beveridge (@RileyBev) February 12, 2021
Levi Casboult was another casualty from morning session, limping from the field midway through the encounter before returning to the sidelines with ice on his knee.
With Marc Pittonet (concussion) and Tom De Koning (back) also absent, the ruck duties then fell on the shoulders of train-on player Callum Moore throughout the remainder of the contest.
The Blues otherwise had a near full-strength squad on the track, with Charlie Curnow (knee), Caleb Marchbank (knee) and Brodie Kemp (ankle) the only long-term concerns following the Christmas break.
Former first-round draft picks Sam Philp and Lochie O'Brien were recovering from minor injury setbacks, while Mitch McGovern also didn't take part in the match as he returns from a rolled ankle sustained earlier this week.
Veteran small forward Eddie Betts did sprint work with trainers as part of his modified program throughout the morning, but looked spritely when involved with the main group before the start of the match simulation drills.
Dow starred for the opposing 'orange' team, impressing with his work at the stoppages against more senior opposition, with David Cuningham and new recruit Lachie Fogarty also enjoying extended stints through the midfield.
Running defender Nic Newman continued his return from a long-term knee injury and played the entirety of the match across half-back, with Jack Silvagni also kicking multiple goals after a strong performance as the 'orange' side's deepest target.
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Carlton continues its preparations for round one with a behind-closed-doors practice match against Essendon on February 25, before meeting St Kilda in the AAMI Community Series on March 4.