Laverde: I've got more to show
Essendon youngster Jayden Laverde is determined to play to his potential next season, after a long stint on the sidelines this year.
The first three years of Laverde's AFL career have been affected by injuries, limiting him to 23 appearances.
The 21-year-old sat out more than four months after rupturing an ankle ligament during the JLT Community Series this year and undergoing surgery.
He's now focused, though, on stepping up next season to hold down a place in the Bombers' midfield.
"I know I haven't shown what my full potential is and I feel it's up to me to do it now," said Laverde. "Being my fourth year I've had enough time to realise, and to know, what's expected, so it's my time to really give it a crack ... in my mind, I've got a lot more to show."
After his ankle injury left him out for most of the year he eventually returned to some good form at VFL level and played in five of the Bombers' final six games in the home and away season.
He admits he wasn't at his best, and was dropped for the elimination final against Sydney where defeat ended the club's season.
"It was obviously pretty tough to take not playing the final, but I'll take some good lessons from that and use that as some resilience and try to build my character off that," he said.
Laverde has been used primarily as a half-forward by the Bombers, but his size and pace make him an option in the midfield.
He said: "Because I've had a few setbacks I haven't been able to show myself fully. I think that my best footy is played throughout the midfield, but I'm quite happy playing up forward if I'm in the best 22 playing as a forward."
Essendon are 20/1 to win the 2018 Grand Final, while the Bombers are 5/1 to finish in the top four.
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