Clarence joeys stepping up

Clarence may enter this weekend’s clash with Launceston without a win so far this season, but there is plenty of evidence to suggest that the ‘Roos have the building blocks in place for success down the line.

Highly competitive in losses to North Launceston in round two and Lauderdale in round four, the ‘Roos have been dealt a tough start to the season with clashes against the 2018 Grand Finalists and heavily fancied Glenorchy across the first month of the season.

It is a new-look outfit at Jeromey Webberley’s disposal in 2019, with Clarence fielding 11 ‘joeys’ born after 2000 in Saturday’s loss to Lauderdale

The late omissions of Webberley and Keren Howlett saw the ‘Roos become even younger for the clash, with late inclusions Harry Burgess and Tyler Penwright further adding to the ‘Roos youth policy so far this campaign.

Penwright’s efforts in this clash were indicative of the positive youth-injected feeling around the Clarence camp, with the 16-year-old kicking two goals in the opening term and three for the game to make the most of his opportunity.

“(The late outs) are another opportunity to play a first-gamer in Harry Burgess and Tyler Penwright came in and played a fantastic game,” Webberley said post round four.

Burgess and Penwright joined a young group headlined by Ethan Jackson and Blair Rubock, with Oscar Paprotny, Adrian Butterworth, Oliver Preshaw, Jacob Smith and James Bealey just some of the players who now hold key roles within Clarence’s senior team.

“We need to play more games, get more experience but it is also about these young players learning how to kill momentum.

“When our leaders (like Brady Jones and Clint Riley) lead from the front we see what Tyler Penwright Adrian Butterworth and those players can do.”

Speaking of the dynamic nature of his side’s current forward structures, Webberley acknowledges that there is a fine line between raw talent and consistent footy.

“We do have several avenues to goal inside 50 and they’re all young.

“From Oliver Preshaw and Tyler Penwright, we roll quite a few guys through forward of centre.

“They are young and emerging, so sometimes their compliance with structure goes out the window and sometimes you need to let them play with a bit of flare.

“Today we saw in glimpses what they can actually do, and if we can get 30-50 games into these players they are going to be very hard to stop.”

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Webberley sees similarities between his side and his round five opponent.

“Launceston are probably in a position a bit like is, they have some really top end players and a lot of young players in there – it should be a ripping game.

“If we can bring what we brought today, we are going to be in a good position to potentially win, so it is about us repeating that effort and learning from the mistakes we made against Lauderdale,” he said.