Laverde learning from the best
Shane Potter January 13, 2015 2:20 PM
Essendon draftee Jayden Laverde has wasted no time in finding a mentor to help him prepare for the rigours of AFL football.
Since joining the club in November, Laverde has turned to All Australian midfielder Dyson Heppell for advice and guidance on how to go about his business.
The 18-year-old has settled in well to his new environment using the support of some of the team’s best players to assist him in finding his feet.
“The first couple of weeks we spent just learning but now I feel like I am really settling into the group,” Laverde said.
“I am starting to find my way through training which is good and I am loving every minute of it.
“You tend to go towards the leaders such as Dyson (Heppell) and now Cale Hooksey is back he has helped me out as well.”
Heppell played a key role in the debut season of Rising Star nominee Zach Merrett during the 2014 season as a mentor during his first season in the red and black.
An agile and versatile tall utility Laverde models his game on his new mentor and is already showcasing talents that could see him match the debut season of the young Heppell.
“I am just staying around those guys, learning as much as I can off them, especially Dys because he is one of the players I aspire to be like,” he said.
“It has been easy to learn off him and he has helped me out really well.”
It has not been uncommon to see the youngster from Keilor doing extra work with coaching staff and teammates following training over his first few months with the club.
Laverde said the extra work was all about ensuring he fast tracks himself to playing senior football as soon as possible.
“Being in the development group we pointed out that we want to be up there as soon as we can so we are just trying to fast track ourselves,” Laverde said.
“For myself I just want to get up to the standard that I need to be at as quick as possible.
“It depends on how I play throughout the practice matches and then I will see if I get a game in the NAB Cup.
“I take every day as it comes and see where we go from there.”
Going to be brilliant rubbing fark carltons nose into it over this one.