Connor Barby is coming on in leaps and bounds as Old Collegians' number one ruck and the 21-year-old contributes it to his work with assistant coach Matt Dempsey.
The Warriors big man has played nine games for the club's senior side and has been named on of the best players in seven of those matches this season.
Barby, a second-year carpentry apprentice, credited Dempsey for improving his focus and commitment to football this season.
"He has really been in my ear most of the year and pushing me through, getting me to training, for me to be consistent at training and making sure my focus is always there," he said.
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"It is one thing I lacked the last season we played (in 2019). I was in and out of games and would drop off and play in patches and it hurts the team a bit but he has been the main person to help me."
The former Koroit junior also credited Ben Van De Camp, who was his under 18.5s coach at the Saints, for helping him grow into the role.
Former Warrior and now Nirranda ruckman Scott Lenehan also had some impact on the emerging ruckman.
Barby said he had been reasonably happy with his season so far and hoped to continue it when the season restarted after its coronavirus-enforced hiatus.
"It was a little patchy to start the year but I have found a little bit of form the last couple of weeks," he said.
"I was hoping to build on it before things went pear-shaped. I was trying to be more consistent."
"It's like most things, you continue to get training and your form comes from there. I should be able to get back into some form but we will see what happens."
Barby said his focus for this season was about playing his role in the team.
"It is not easy week in, week out trying to be the one getting the ball to the midfielders but I'm trying my best," he said.
"I get bullied around some weeks and some weeks you'll play a lot better than others it's just trying to play my role for the team and going from there."
Barby said the initial stages of taking on the number one ruck role were tricky but he has grown into it.
"It was obviously a big out when Scott (Lenehan) hung the boots up but I took it in my stride and tried to play the best I can for the team," he said.
"It is working now and I am coming in with a bit of form and couple of wins the last couple weeks have been good too."
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