Despite the fact he is yet to make his AFL debut, Charlie Constable has made a big impression at the Geelong Football Club in 2018.
Known by teammates as ‘Chook’, the first-year midfielder has starred at VFL level and has been in the mix for senior selection regularly.
With names like Selwood, Dangerfield, Ablett and Duncan lighting up the Cats’ midfield, Constable is aware of the challenge to break into the team so his focus is on continually improving his game until given the chance to join that illustrious group.
“We’ve got a really strong midfield in our AFL side so I’ve just got to wait for my opportunity but hopefully when it comes I’ll be ready,” Constable said.
“I haven’t really asked (if a debut is on the cards), I’m just working on the parts of my game and then hopefully if I improve my overall game I might just force my way in there anyway.
“I’d love to play and I think if I got my opportunity I’d be able to do some good things but it’s tough to break in there.”
Rival clubs would envy Geelong’s midfield depth as Constable would likely have been gifted a game at most other clubs on the basis of his VFL form.
Over the past month, the big-bodied midfielder has averaged 31 disposals, seven marks and five tackles whilst regularly featuring in the VFL Cats’ best players.
Constable credits his form to a four-week break he had mid-season to improve his conditioning and other elements of his game.
“The club was really good with me, they put me through a little mini pre-season and I think that freshened me right up,” Constable said.
“I feel since I’ve been back I’ve been playing not bad football and hopefully I can keep it going.”
CHOOOOK! Charlie Constable takes a quality intercept grab and follows up with a goal!
— Geelong VFL (@GeelongVFL) July 15, 2018
Constable is continually improving, an important part of any player’s first year, and he acknowledges certain players and coaches around the club for helping him get better.
“(Scott Selwood) is one player that I watch really closely and I just love how hard he works,” he said.
“I’ve also been doing a lot of work with Nigel Lappin and Shane O’Bree so they’ve helped me out a lot.”
O’Bree is the Cats’ VFL coach and he has been able to watch Constable develop throughout the season, providing guidance as well as a power of knowledge and experience.
The former Collingwood star is aware of Constable’s hunger to play AFL football and believes it is that desire that is translating into a desperation to play well at VFL level and push his case for selection.
“The good thing with Charlie is he wants to be a good footballer and he wants to be playing a higher level than he is at the moment,” O’Bree said.
“His mindset in the last six weeks has been ‘alright, what do I need to work on’ and he’s been working on that really well and its coming out in VFL games.
“Hopefully he gets his opportunity this year but if he doesn’t, then he’s in a really good place for next year.”
With three games to go in the AFL season (plus any finals games the Cats play) the opportunities to debut are limited but Constable is happy to ply his trade with the VFL side, especially with the team in such good form.
After recently taking down ladder-leaders Richmond by 52 points, the VFL Cats, who sit third on the ladder, are well-placed to make a deep run in the finals series.
Whilst Constable is not one to get ahead of himself, he knows there is an opportunity for the VFL side to achieve something special this year and that it will provide him with a wealth of experience if they do.
“I don’t think we’ve played a shocking game this year to be honest, so we come into each game confident.
“I have heard that VFL finals are quite intense and that will be good,” he said.
“We know we can’t be overconfident and we’ve just got to play our role but it’s really exciting at the moment.”
The VFL Cats have three games remaining in the home and away season before the finals series kicks off on September 1.