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Extra training benefiting Young

Coach's Office - Tom Young (Rd19) This week development coach Ash Hansen analyses Tom Young's development as a defender in the VFL.
Tom Young of the Bulldogs in action during the VFL Round 15 match between Footscrat and Essendon at Victoria University Whitten Oval on July 20, 2014. (Photo: Sean Garnsworthy/AFL Media)
Tom Young of the Bulldogs in action during the VFL Round 15 match between Footscrat and Essendon at Victoria University Whitten Oval on July 20, 2014. (Photo: Sean Garnsworthy/AFL Media)

Implementing to a stricter routine and adding extras at training have led to Tom Young’s improvement this season, with his hard work translating into a consistent patch of form in the VFL.

“I got a bit of a wake-up call a month ago and started to work a bit harder, I have been putting in the hours and really starting to notice a difference and it is coming out in games,” Young said.

“I’ve got a better routine in the morning, come in and do pilates and have a stretch.

“Then I grab [Rohan] Smithy to do some touch in the morning to wake me up before training and then I do extra pilates outside of the Club as well - the work you put in off the track comes out on the weekend.

“[I’m finding I have] more strength, just not being pushed off the ball as easy and being in the contest a lot stronger.”

While the 22-year-old’s statistical output is down year on year, his efforts off the ball have improved markedly as he moulds his game to suit the Bulldogs style of play. 

Being a dependable backman is at the front of Young’s mind in recent months, drawing on his coaches’ experience to beat his opponent.

“We do a lot of craft on our defensive one-on-ones, the coaches are really big on me defending first because I can sometimes get a bit ahead of the ball and hunt the ball,” he said.

“I had to go back to the VFL and knock my man over, I can always find the ball but just the consistency in beating my man is the main thing at the moment.”

Now that he has found some consistency in a solid block of games in the VFL, including a best on ground performance against Bendigo on Sunday, the 22-year-old is again eyeing a senior berth.

But with a more settled defensive lineup in the seniors and no shortage of competition, Young knows it will take more than a few solid games to break into the AFL team.

“You don’t get given games, it’s definitely a positive at the minute that the back six is pretty settled and it is pretty hard to get a game - but that’s why we play professional sport,” he said.

“You want to work hard and you want to earn your spot… [I need to] be consistently good at defending and all the little things and not having any lapses in my game.”