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Will Mitch McGovern play in defence in 2021?


Carlton will continue to utilise Mitch McGovern as a key forward, despite the temptation to play him in defence.

McGovern started 2020 in good form before hamstring injuries derailed the remainder of his campaign.

The Blues threw him into defence in Round 18 against Brisbane and have made list management decisions that have left them light for key defenders.

Harrison Macreadie, Hugh Goddard and Ben Silvagni were all delisted, leaving Liam Jones and Jacob Weitering as the only two pure key defenders on the list.

However, Teague believes McGovern, as well as Levi Casboult and Caleb Marchbank, can play the key defensive role if required and will train in the role at stages throughout the pre-season.

“With our list at the moment, the demographic of our list, we’re probably one key position back short,” Teague told Carlton Media answering fan questions.

“We’ll play Jacob Weitering and Liam Jones as our two key backs and hopefully Caleb Marchbank, he’s looking good at the moment, he’ll come back into that mix and if those three are up and going then we’ll train the other two as forwards, but Levi and Mitch will probably spend a little bit of time (in defence) throughout the pre-season, just in case we need them.

“The majority of the time they’ll be forwards. We’ve drafted them both as forwards and we’ll look to play them as forwards at the start of the year.”

Teague added that a young key defender to develop is among the club’s draft needs ahead of Wednesday’s National Draft.

Sam Petrevski-Seton is another Blue who has been played in multiple positions, spending most of 2020 deep in defence or across half back.

Teague said the former top 10 draft pick will likely remain in defence in 2021.

“We often ask that in match committee, where’s his best position. We see him really giving us some drive and his ability to kick and find a mark out of our back half is really important,” the Blues coach said.

“He led the AFL last year for ground balls in the defensive 50, so knowing when to roll off his opponent and get back to support is a real skill of his, but we have seen him play some good midfield games.

“We’ll probably plan to play him more through the half back line again and use that leg and that run, but having said that he could push up to a wing or go through the midfield at times.

“At this stage we see him and I see him a little like an Andrew McLeod off half back and someone who can hit the midfield later in games or later in his career.”

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