“We think if we can get Jasper back to the form of a couple of years ago when he was in the All-Australian 40-man squad, then we think he can can be a handy player for us.”
That’s what North Melbourne’s General Manager of Football Cameron Joyce said about Jasper Pittard when the defender was recruited to Arden Street in October last year.
Three weeks in to the 2019 home and away season, Pittard feels he’s rediscovered his “flow” and is feeling good about his football.
“I feel like I’m in a pretty good flow at the moment, and that all comes off the back of being pretty ruthless defensively, and that’s what worked for me a few years ago when I had a pretty positive year,” Pittard told North Media.
“I feel personally that I’m moving well and I’m defending well, and as a result of that, I’m getting better at taking my chances offensively.
“I know that defending well and taking my chances is the best way to stay in form.”
Pittard recorded a season-high 25 disposals in the Roos’ loss to Hawthorn Sunday, and used the ball effectively, ending the match at 88 per cent disposal efficiency.
While critics have knocked his ball use in recent years, the former Port Adelaide player believes it’s been a change in mindset rather than technique which has helped him.
“I feel like I’ve generally always had the ability to use the ball well,” he said.
“As the years have gone on I’ve been a bit smarter about where and when to pull certain kicks, and I think on Sunday I was good at hitting the easy option early when I needed to, and I think as a team we did that quite well.
Standing at 186 centimetres, Pittard has been a welcome addition to North’s defence, not only because of his speed and agility, but due to his knack for impacting aerial contests.
“I’ve been building over the past three weeks, and that was one of my best performances individually,” he said.
“There’s been times when I’ve had to play a bit taller just because of matchups, but I felt fine playing on that third tall.
“I back myself in the air to be able to impact, and I also try and come off as much as I can to help when we’ve got boys in one-on-one contests.
“It’s not necessarily an instruction, but it’s just the way I like to play.”