Trimmer Suban aims to get lucky
Nick Suban has changed his weight – down three kilograms.
The club has changed coach, Ross Lyon taking over from Mark Harvey.
What the 21-year-old Docker defender most needs now is a change of luck.
Suban played all 22 games for Fremantle in 2009 and rivalled Stephen Hill as the club’s best first-year player.
He impressed the Dockers hierarchy so much they asked him to nominate for the club’s leadership group. Suban had captained his school, the North Ballarat Rebels in the TAC Cup and Victoria Country in the national 18s titles, but politely declined the request.
“I thought it probably wasn’t in my best interests being a first-year player,” he said.
“I felt I had to earn my stripes a bit more and play more consistent footy. I am still working on that. Hopefully down the track I can put my name up but at the moment I have just got to play consistent footy and do the best for the side.”
Lady Luck hasn’t been with him since. Suban suffered a serious ankle injury in 2010, while a broken leg cost him three months in 2011.
What he most wants in 2012 is to play consistent football injury-free.
“I have been very inconsistent,” he said. “I have been a little bit unlucky with injury, but I am not using that as an excuse.
“I just need to put more games together and play more consistently for longer periods.”
The good news so far is that Suban has given himself his best possible chance in the lead-up. He has barely missed a training session all summer and has been one of the more obvious beneficiaries of Lyon’s edict to slim down.
“It has been a bit of a focus, Ross wanted everyone to be a bit lighter. Playing in defence on small guys, it will help me a little bit,” he said.
And he will have more responsibility. With veteran Roger Hayden retired, Suban shapes as one of the team’s main rebounders – a prospect he is relishing.
“There is probably more pressure on myself and Duffy (Paul Duffield) to fill Roger’s spot,” he said.
“He was obviously a great defender and a great rebounder as well. It is good to have him as a development coach at the club because you get to learn a lot off him. You obviously want to play like him as well. It is good to have him around.
“I hope to get the ball as much as I can and use my left foot. It is probably one of my strengths. I will be trying to get the ball as much as I can and try to pierce the zone.”
Suban got an early test of his rebounding skills against West Coast’s forward press in round one of the NAB Cup last Sunday.
“When you are looking up and you have guys like (Jack) Darling chasing from behind and you see the press ahead, it is hard to get through but you have to back your skills in and back that your forwards are holding their structure so you have something to kick to,” he said. “It is tough but exciting as well to try and get through things like that and challenge yourself.”
He said Lyon had tinkered with, rather than uprooted, the Dockers’ game plan.
“He is very positive,” Suban said. “He wants us to take the game on and have a very strong defensive mindset as well.”