FORMER Colac footballer Marcus Crook says he is adjusting to extra responsibility with Canberra-based North East AFL club Ainslie this season.
Crook, who helped lead the team to an eastern conference premiership last year, has taken on a more predominant midfield role following the departure of teammates Robert Shirley and John Holmes.
He said the extra attention from taggers took getting used to, but an eight-goal haul in Ainslie’s 123-point win against Tuggeranong had shown Crook was hitting his straps in the lead into finals.
“The team’s been a bit up and down early in the season because we lost a few players and there are a few new faces but we’re starting to get to know each other now and gel a bit better,” Crook said.
“This season I’m playing more in the centre. With the players that left there was a bit of a gap there so the coaches wanted me to play more of a midfield role,” he said.
“I’ve sort of been a bit up and down myself, I suppose I’ve gotten a little bit of attention from taggers which I’ve had to get used to – hopefully the second half will be a bit better.”
Among new faces in the team is Crook’s younger brother Lachy – who has cemented his spot in the senior side in his second year at the club playing on the wing and in the centre.
“Lachy’s fitted in well, it’s good to have him up here,” Crook said.
“He’s improved out of sight, skill-wise he’s probably been one of the best, if not the best at the footy club,” he said.
Ainslie sits fifth with a 6-4 record after 12 rounds but is just one win behind first-placed Sydney Swans reserves.