Take two for rookie Blue – Jaryd Cachia

Jaryd Cachia tomorrow renews acquaintance with the Carlton Football Club, having been drafted as a first round rookie for the second time in as many seasons.

Cachia, secured by the Blues with overall selection nine yesterday, sets foot back into Visy Park two years after he was taken in the corresponding draft of 2010 with the 15th selection overall.

In between, personal and collective successes have come his way in South Australia, as an integral member of Norwood’s all-conquering premiership team of 2012 and a top five placegetter in both his club’s and competition’s best and fairest count.

“I don’t know how to explain it – to return to the club which gave me a chance in the first place to have a crack at AFL level,” Cachia said from Adelaide today. “All I can say is that I’m coming back to a new club with a new coach, a new captain and a new me.

“I’m excited by the fact that another opportunity presents itself, that I’m getting a second chance and that Mick Malthouse is the new coach. I can’t wait to get back, I’ll be on the flight tonight and I’ll start training tomorrow.”

For the past fortnight, Cachia has trained with rival AFL outfit Port Adelaide, and as late as last night got sounded out by Collingwood about the prospect of jetting into town for a medical. But the Blues won out over the birds and Cachia, at 21, knows he’s far better equipped the second time around.

So what’s changed?

“I had to go away and work on a few things in my game, which I think I managed to fix in my season in the SANFL,” came the reply. “I had to work on getting more outside-ball and generally work on my outside game, which I believe I was able to improve.

“I really enjoyed my footy this year, because I regained my confidence as I developed over the journey, and I think it was reflected in how I played on the field.

“There’s still more improvement to come with my outside running, but I do believe I can become more versatile and am happy to play any role I can.”

Originally schooled at St Kevin’s College, Cachia plied his craft with the Northern Knights and in his callow youth co-captained the Victorian Metropolitan Under 16s team with Tom Scully.

Though his initial stint at Visy Park spanned two seasons, Cachia’s experiences were confined to the VFL by way of the then Northern Bullants.

On a personal level, Cachia looks forward to catching up with old friends Shaun Hampson with whom he previously roomed, Rhys O’Keefe and Brock McLean, the latter having already fired off a congratulatory text.

Carlton’s National Recruiting Manager Shane Rogers said Cachia had been on the club’s radar through the course of the season.

“Norwood played on a Friday night, which meant that whenever we went to Adelaide we had the opportunity to see more games over the course of the weekend,” Rogers said.

“We saw “Cache” a lot of a Friday night and we saw an improvement in a lot of areas of his game, which means he’s worked hard at it.

“Football clubs can be pretty intimidating places for an 18 year-old, which is what he was when he first came in. He was delisted when he was only 20, but hopefully he comes back with renewed confidence and he should be right to go.”

carltonfc.com.au