Blues spearhead gets one more year with new deal

Levi Casboult4SPEARHEAD Levi Casboult will play on with Carlton in 2017 after signing off on a new one-year deal.

Casboult was thrust into the role of the Blues’ No.1 key forward this season following Lachie Henderson’s departure to Geelong, and rose to the challenge in a year when the Blues largely struggled to score.

Playing a career-high 20 games, Casboult kicked 18 goals – second at the Blues behind Matthew Wright’s 22 majors – but, more significantly, provided the seasoned aerial target Brendon Bolton’s team needed so badly.

Casboult finished seventh in the AFL for contested marks (46), 22 more than the next best Blue, Jacob Weitering.

He also took twice as many marks inside 50 as any other Blue – 38 to Andrejs Everitt’s 19 – to be ranked equal 19th in the AFL.

Casboult told Carlton’s website he was grateful he would be playing on in 2017 and was focused on repaying the Blues’ faith.

“As a team, we know we need to continue to evolve as a developing side, but collectively, I think we showed some exciting signs this year,” he said.

“I’ve enjoyed working closely with Brendon Bolton and particularly forwards coach Shane Watson on the areas of my game that need improving and will continue to work really hard this upcoming pre-season.”

Casboult should again be a key part of Carlton’s spine next season as promising young forwards Harry McKay, Charlie Curnow and Jack Silvagni continue their development.

The former Dandenong Stingray joined the Blues in the 2010 NAB AFL Rookie Draft and made his debut in round 17, 2012, against the Western Bulldogs.

He has been a regular member of the Blues’ attack since 2014 but has struggled at times with his conversion in front of goal.

Casboult has had to cope with the departures of fellow key forwards Jarrad Waite and Henderson in that time, losses that robbed the Blues’ attack of much of its marking power.

Casboult has kicked 71 goals in 72 games for Carlton.