Jasper Pittard was more than happy to fly under the radar when he first arrived at Arden Street, but a terrific first season in the royal blue and white has made it difficult for him not to be noticed.
After eight season and 126 games at Port Adelaide, the defender came to the Roos via a trade alongsideJared Polec. His impact was almost immediate, and he went on to play every game in 2019.
“It’s been a bit of a whirlwind year for me, but I loved every minute of it,” Pittard said on the Powershop Players Podcast.
“I think I was able to play a little bit more consistently throughout the year, and probably would have liked to get a little bit more of the ball, but I think defensively I made some big inroads this year and feel like I’ve really got that consistency with my defending back. That’s what I base my game around. If I take care of that, the rest comes from there.”
While Pittard arrived in unfamiliar territory at a new club, he quickly found his feet.
The experience of the likes of Scott Thompson and Robbie Tarrant helped make the transition an easy one.
“The way we play as a defence really suits the way I play, and makes it very easy to slot in and play your role,” Pittard said.
“After a rusty start we got to the stage we were probably one of the most reliable defences in the league.
“We’ll get Maj (Majak Daw) back in there next year, and ‘Durds’ (Sam Durdin) and ‘Buckets’ (Ben McKay) will be looking to fill the hole left by ‘Turbo’ (Scott Thompson). His spot’s up for grabs.”
Pittard now looking to build on a strong start to his time at North.
“I wasn’t sure what to expect when Brad (Scott) moved on, but I just really enjoyed the year, even though there were some tough times,” he added.
“For me it’s just to maintain the continuity in my body. I’ve had a pretty lucky run with injuries this year, and the body’s pulled up really well most weeks. I can take that into the off-season knowing I can do my full program and I won’t have to miss any sessions.
“The little things I want to improve on are always honing in on my skills, my kicking and making sure I’m tip-top with that next year.”
You can listen to Pittard and a series of other key players discuss their 2019 seasons below in the Powershop Players Podcast.
Pittard’s interview begins at 24.20.