After a season without any major injury concerns – and his first in the Navy Blue – Will Setterfield is ready to become an important piece to Carlton’s rise next season, according to teammate Sam Walsh.
Setterfield turns 21 in February and has caught a lot of attention to begin pre-season down at Ikon Park.
After being selected with pick five by GWS in 2016, Setterfield’s first two seasons in the league were derailed by injury but he was given a fresh start 12 months ago and made the most of his first season with Carlton.
The midfielder who can play both inside and out, played in 18 matches and averaged 16.5 disposals and three tackles, while also booting a memorable goal to beat cross-state rivals Adelaide.
As one of the members of a promising young Blues midfield, Setterfield is hoping to take the next step in 2020 and firm his place in the side.
This season’s best first-year player Sam Walsh, who shares a house with Setterfield, was reluctant to talk about the potential of the former Giant heading forward. When asked to nominate a teammate who was ready to take the next step, Walsh did not hesitate.
“There’s hopefully a big group that is ready to keep on improving more and more because we do have so many (players) at that 19- to 23-year-old range. I live with Will Setterfield, so I’m going to chuck him in there,” Walsh told AFL.com.au’s Draft Night Countdown on Tuesday.
“You mentioned ‘Samo’ (Sam Petrevski-Seton) and ‘Dowy’ (Paddy Dow) and (Zac) Fisher and these guys, but I think ‘Setters’ flew under the radar a bit.
“He did an ACL two years ago and then came back and pretty much plays a full season of footy, which is a very good effort.
“The change in his body and the way he’s working hard for it has been great to see, and I think he’s in for a good year.”
With this pre-season being Setterfield’s first without any injury, the youngster is really hoping for consistency and impact heading into a culture-shifting year with the Blues.
“I was very happy to get the backing from the coaching to play a role on the wing: hopefully I’ll do very similar next year and float inside a bit more,” Setterfield said.
“I take a lot of confidence from the second half of the season, personally — I think the whole group would.”