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Merrett's continual rise

June 10, 2013 7:23 AM

It was hard at first to come back from AFL to VFL because obviously AFL is a lot faster and you have to make different decisions.
Essendon forward Jackson Merrett is enjoying his second season at AFL level but is conscious of continuing to develop his game as he aims to force his way back into the senior team.

Merrett who has played six matches at AFL level this season collected 22 disposals and booted two goals playing through the midfield.

The 20-year-old said he had enjoyed playing through the midfield since dropping back to VFL level over the last few weeks.

“This week I pushed up into the midfield a bit more, just try and get around the ball and get a bit more in my hands,” Merrett said.

“It was hard at first to come back from AFL to VFL because obviously AFL is a lot faster and you have to make different decisions.”

“After a couple of weeks back I am starting to find my feet again, you have to be around the contests to win the ball.”

Merrett said he was aware of the expectations placed upon him from the coaches to continue to develop his game.

“They want me to play up forward a little bit but also go back to VFL level and develop in the midfield area,” he said.

“I just need to work on my craft in there during the game, keep working in there and hopefully work my way back into the AFL side.”

VFL coach Hayden Skipworth said Merrett’s senior experience was beginning to show when he returned to play with the VFL side.

“The more AFL experience he can get the better off he is going to be,” Skipworth said.

“We managed to get some games into him early in the year, some guys came back for various reasons and he has come back at this stage.”

“Anytime we can get him in the senior team where he can taste that speed and intensity it is going to be beneficial.”