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11:50pm  Jun 21, 2018

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VFL: Hind striving for next level

Callum O'Connor  June 12, 2018 11:00 AM

BTV: VFL RD 10 | Highlights Watch some of the highlights from our VFL Round 10 win over Coburg.

At his best, Nick Hind’s speed and evasiveness puts him among the most dangerous VFL Bombers. With a strong start to the season under his belt, the 23-year-old has his eye on developing the consistency to take his game to the next level.

“I’m always encouraged to take the game on and use my pace and break the lines … that’s probably the best part of my game,” said Hind, now in his second season at The Hangar.

“Also, there’s times where I can’t take the game on and I have to stick to the side’s structure. There are different conditions in a game, the team can need different things … it’s not about all-out attack for me, it’s about fitting in to what the side needs.

“Obviously, when you’re VFL listed at an AFL-affiliate club you have to be versatile, you have to be able to fit into different areas, you have to be able to play back, to play mid, to be flexible and play around the team.”

After playing 15 matches in his maiden season at Essendon, Hind has solidified his place by playing eight of nine games in 2018, only missing the round eight win over the Northern Blues.

He has racked up 20 disposals or more four times, has featured in the best in three of his last four matches and says his sights are now set on becoming a week-in, week-out four-quarter performer.

“I wouldn’t say it’s so much a confidence thing – to be honest, it’s pretty instinctive,” Hind said.

“It’s always how I’ve played my footy. I’ve always been taught to use my weapons and think about how we can win as a team.

“I’m just trying to build with every game I play and get some consistency. That’s probably the biggest thing: I don’t have to get high numbers, don’t have to dominate the game, just play a role.”

Regular counsel helps Hind balance the influence he has on Essendon’s game and the influence Essendon’s game has on him. More than anyone else, coach Dan Jordan knows how and when to restrain and release Hind.

“DJ’s pretty brutally honest with me, but I really need that,” Hind admitted. “He doesn’t let me get too far ahead of myself and tells me exactly what I need to work on but peps me up when I need.”