Jack Martin’s former coach Rodney Eade says he will realise his true potential in Carlton’s forward line as Gold Coast prepares to let him walk for free.
The 24-year-old will get to the Blues for nothing at 10am on Friday in the pre-season draft, with the Suns finally giving in to a player who is so desperate to get to an AFL rival.
Gold Coast still will be upbeat this offseason as they secured Jack Lukosius last week on top of recontracting Ben King, and will enter 2020 with momentum rather than dealing with a year of speculation over Martin’s ongoing future.
Eade coached Martin when he finished third in the best-and-fairest in successive seasons in 2016 and 2017, kicking 24 goals to go with 410 possessions in 2017.
He says not only is Martin a versatile player who can easily take his turn at half back, but he is capable of 30 goals a year as a marking half-forward who pinch-hits in the midfield.
“He is a different type of player to what they have got. Forward lines need a different look,” he told the Herald Sun.
“He can mark it overhead, he is very good on the ground, he’s a different player to (Tom) Papley because he can take a mark.
“He is 186cm and he has got good speed and agility. He is as good on the ground as he is in the air and he does add a different dynamic. He can go into the midfield and win the ball out of the centre square so he gives the Carlton coaching group a real flexible player who can go to half back and set the game up if he needs to.
“He is really super tough, can win a really hard ball, tackles well, can do some exciting stuff even if he floats in and out of the game.
“If there is enough ball coming down there he certainly could kick 30 goals, no doubt.”
Carlton needs some summer momentum, having lost Charlie Curnow for Round 1 and with Harry McKay’s continuing groin issues now delaying his pre-season – both of which have been brought to light in the past week.
It means the Blues may have to rely on Mitch McGovern and Levi Casboult to hold up the forward line early, with Eade sympathetic to the task David Teague has at hand.
“You know that the next corner you turn around, no matter how well you are going, there is going to be someone with a baseball bat who is going to whack you,” he said.
“It’s just the nature of it. Have a couple of injuries to key players, it can change everything around. But they will get those players back at the right time.”