Richmond assistant coach Andrew McQualter provides Richmond Media with an insight into how livewire premiership forward Jason Castagna is taking his game to a higher level.

Interrupted pre-season with an ankle injury

“He probably missed about six-eight weeks of training there during pre-season just post-Christmas, so he was a little bit behind the eight-ball. But he’s been able to find his place now and he’s playing some good footy.”

Entering a consistent phase of his AFL career

“I think after that period of games (59), you start to feel like you belong a little bit more and you’re a bit more mature. He’s now one of our leaders in our forward line, which is great.”

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His brilliant goal v Fremantle last Sunday

“It was a special goal, wasn’t it! Funnily enough, he does practise things like this at training. So to see it come out in the game was awesome . . . but not a total surprise.”

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By George, what a goal #AFLFreoTigers

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Improved set-shot goalkicking

“It’s something he’s worked on a lot and he’s improving it. I think with anything, the more you put in, the more chance you’ll have on game day. So he’s doing a good job with that.”

Plays tall for his position

“I think over the last few years we’ve been undersized, which has been pretty common knowledge, and Jase has had to play a strong aerial game. His ability to do that has been outstanding.”

Upper-body strength

“He’s extraordinary, the Italian kid, with the amount of work he puts in, in the gym. He’s really strong and that’s why he’s able to compete like that . . . Power to weight, I think he’s the strongest in the Club.” 

Impressive defensive attributes

“I think that one of Jase’s greatest assets is the defensive part of his game. He’s got the speed and the ability to tackle. He sticks the tackle due to his strength . . . For all of these guys (small forwards), their game is based around their defence. You come into the AFL system you’ve got offensive talent. This is the part of the game that differentiates you . . . It’s a controllable, and Jase is really consistent at this.”

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