Ratten says Kreuzer has a tough job - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Ratten says Kreuzer has a tough job

By Adam Cooper 13/08/2008 04:32:52 PM Comments (0)

Matthew Kreuzer probably won't win the AFL Rising Star award, but Carlton coach Brett Ratten believes the young ruckman has the toughest job of all the contenders.

Ratten continues to be impressed by Kreuzer's competitive nature and his impact in his first season, despite not playing full games and rucking against players who are much bigger, stronger and more experienced.

Kreuzer is likely to be beaten by one of Fremantle onballer Rhys Palmer, Hawthorn goalsneak Cyril Rioli or Richmond midfielder Trent Cotchin in the award for the league's best young player, but Ratten said last year's No.1 draftee had the toughest job of all the fancies.

"It's a tougher gig for a young man to play in a big man's role at a young age (19), when their body's growing, they're still developing, they're giving away weight, experience, the whole lot," Ratten said.

"I think it's a harder gig, yep.

"A first-year kid playing in the ruck, pinch-hitting in (attack) at times and he's not getting the ground time of some of the others.

"So when you look at his 12 possessions or 14 possessions and you say that was his game, but when you analyse the time, he might have played 54 per cent of the game, which is a fantastic result for a big fella."

Ratten said the Rising Star award was one which rewarded eye-catching onballers, similar to the Brownlow Medal.

Ten of the 15 previous Rising Star winners were midfielders or smaller-type players.

Adding to Kreuzer's impressive debut season, Carlton are unlikely to rest him until the end of the season, which means he has played all 17 games since he made his debut in round three.

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