Casboult’s unorthodox technique contributed to him having 57.7 per cent accuracy in front of goal last season, booting 15.11, of which 23 of the scores came from set shots. His percentage was similar to Travis Cloke’s – 56.5 – although the Magpies’ power forward contributed 39 goals.
The Blues almost certainly need Casboult to have greater impact on the scoreboard — he managed multiple goals in only two matches last season — if they are to push for the top eight.
Casboult said he had been having extra goal-kicking practice — up to 30 shots per day — under the direction of forwards coach Brad Green and coaching director Robert Wiley.
“Obviously, the big one for me is goal-kicking. I have just been going over my processes with that and making sure I get a certain amount in each day to keep improving on that,” he said.
“It’s more my technique under pressure – (learning to) lean back a bit (when kicking the ball). We have got my routine down pat, what feels comfortable and what works for me. It’s more just repetition and getting as many shots as you can in and getting the mechanics set in stone.”
Casboult had previously explored holding the ball differently.
“I did a little bit early days. I had a bit of a Fevola hold – I had it really low for a bit. Darren Harris (former assistant coach) was at the club and he thought the lower your hand is, that’s where you drop the ball, but I changed back to the way I have it now,” he said.
Casboult said he had been working diligently on replicating the fatigue he experienced on game day, and was best afield in last week’s scratch match in Mansfield.
“I don’t tend to feel the pressure at the time. Maybe it’s the game fatigue and you fall into bad habits,” he said.
“I have been trying, after every drill, when you are puffing a bit, to have a set shot so you can repeat that at game levels.”
Casboult enjoyed a break-out 2014, playing in 19 matches, having managed a combined 17 in his first four seasons. The confidence the Blues showed in him was largely rewarded, with Casboult an imposing marking presence. He won 33 per cent of his one-on-one battles – the ninth-highest percentage of the 36 players who were involved in at least 45 contests, according to Champion Data.
“I was pretty disappointed not to play the first few rounds but then to come in and play the rest of the season (was great),” he said.
“Just the experience you get, even though I wasn’t an 18-year-old coming in playing footy, by the time you get to the end of the year, you are still feeling the pinch a bit. I guess that will hold me in good stead to have a full year of AFL under my belt. It’s now about taking the next step.
“I would like to have more of an impact inside 50 this year. I still like pushing up the ground. My endurance is good. I want to get up and back and try and work my opponent over. The aim is to do a bit more damage inside 50 this year.”
The Blues are likely to have plenty of height inside 50, with Casboult expected to feature alongside recruit Liam Jones and Lachie Henderson, the latter needing to work on his consistency, having finished goalless in seven matches last season. Ruckman Matthew Kreuzer will also spend time inside 50, with Casboult potentially having time in a relief role around the ground.
“We have got some good height inside 50, some damaging players, too,” Casboult said.
“Pretty much over my whole career, whether it be in the VFL or TAC Cup, I have always been changing in the ruck. It’s something that I am comfortable with.”