After going down to the Demons by nine goals in the JLT Community Series last weekend, Bolton said his side needed to learn some lessons about how to play with a more defensive mindset.
“I think the game gives you terrific feedback and that’s what the JLT is about,” he told SEN Radio.
“Specifically on the game it probably told us that we probably overused the ball a little bit and to bring a bit more of a defensive mindset. But in saying that we did achieve what we wanted to.
“We tried some players in different positions. (Marc) Murphy had a bit of exposure on a half back flank, (Jacob) Weitering forward again are a couple of examples. And the main priorities are getting some minutes into our list and also not missing the opportunity to play some of our youngsters.”
“I’d really like to in time have Weiters as a player that can play at both ends of the ground. We’ve got to wait and remember that he is only in his second year, so I think it is smart just to have him consolidate and feel really good as a defender. But we are going to keep giving him opportunities and hopefully in time he feels really good [as a] versatility player at both ends.”
As the season progresses Bolton would love for his side to be able to perform stronger defensively, but is aware it’ll take at least this season for the club to get where they want to be.
“Last year we put a really big focus on defensive action and team defence and we know that’s about 18 players all working in synergy and it takes a fair bit of training and it takes a few years to get really strong on it, but we made some inroads last year on that front,” he said.
“I think you can see with our list management we have probably prioritised at this stage on our defence and this year we have added (Caleb) Marchbank. We did draft young talls, but they do take a little bit longer, but we think we have some young talent there … as we know with key forwards it’s a difficult position to play and your bodies have got to be ready so we just have got to be a little patient there.
“I think there is no exact time. Each individual can progress in different ways. Weitering is the example, he has got a bit more of a mature body as an 18-year-old … sometimes young bodies take a little longer.”