Heal shines for young Lions
Tuesday, 17 May 2016
Subiaco’s Aaron Heal is enjoying a breakout season alongside a young Lions back-line.
Heal has shown incredible versatility over his time at Subi but has found career best form in 2016 as the Lions intercepting defender.
The 23-year-old tops the team in defensive marks (36) and and defensive coach Nigel Hamilton isn’t surprised with Heal’s strong start to the year.
“He’s a confident kind of player so we’re not really surprised with how well he’s done this year,
“We used him in certain packages in pre-season to give him more freedom, but the way our press was working it was hard to implement them,
“With Lockyer un-available it created an opportunity for him to be more aggressive at the contest and he thrived on that last week.” Said Hamilton
Subiaco restricted the Tigers to 16 scoring shots with young Heal affecting the contest with eight marks and seven spoils.
“He’s got a big smile on his face at training at the moment, he knows he’s playing well and he’s taking his opportunities,
“When you hand him his opposition assignment he greets it with a confident enthusiasm and that’s great to have in a young player.” Added Hamilton
Aaron Heal tunes in during quarter time vs Claremont.
The most impressive thing about Heal’s form is the lack of experience around him. In the Claremont game only one defender had played over 50 games and that was veteran recruit Greg Broughton.
Declan Jackson, Greg Clark, Hayden Kennedy & Chris Bryan are all graduates of our 2013 Colts and Heal came to Subi from Peel in 2014.
“If you compare the defensive group against Claremont to last year there was only one that played in the 2015 Grand Final. It’s been a pretty big ask for the young guys but they’ve adapted really well,
“The guys have played together for a while and they’ve also been understudies of our senior program for a while. They know there roles and they’re determined to fight it out for the team,
“They’re well drilled and trust in each others abilities when it comes down to it.” Added Hamilton
Subiaco expect to be without veteran defenders Jordan Lockyer (hamstring) and Wayde Twomey (calf) for a little while longer so the performance of the young Lions backline will continue to be crucial.
“We’ve still got work to do. As we saw against East Fremantle you’re always capable of a down performance but the important thing is to use it as a learning experience.
“We want to press hard and use the ball out of the backline well to set up the midfielders. I’m confident that the players can achieve that more effectively. “ said Hamilton