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Ballard finds his niche

Charlie Ballard on FIVEaa Gold Coast youngster Charlie Ballard joined Rowey and Bicks on Adelaide radio station FIVEaa.
   - Gold Coast Suns,Charlie Ballard,Stuart Dew
I guess what the people don’t see on the outside is how well the boys connect and how much of a positive environment it is in here.
Charlie Ballard

He’s getting better each week, and after six senior games Charlie Ballard thinks he’s found his home in defence.

The 18-year-old made his debut playing as a pressure half-forward, but was swung into defence for the game against GWS where he played arguably his best game in his young career to date.

He then backed it up with an equally impressive 16-disposal and eight-mark effort against the Saints last weekend at half-back. 

Ballard says the position shift has paid dividends.

“I was trying to just play my role up forward and that’s what we needed at the time,” he told Adelaide radio station FIVEaa.

“But I think the move to back, that’s where I’ve previously played a lot of my footy so yeah I’ve been a lot more comfortable back there.”

His form on the field is a reflection of the strong foundation he’s built off it.

Ballard is full of confidence after recently signing a contract extension with the club, keeping him a SUN until the end of 2021.

“I’ve been really thriving here,” he said.

“I guess what the people don’t see on the outside is how well the boys connect and how much of a positive environment it is in here.

“I’ve really enjoyed that for the first six months of being here. I’ve had no hesitation, as much as my parents probably hate me saying it, I haven’t really missed home too much.”

He is yet to experience a win in the SUNS guernsey, and knows he’ll have to play a strong hand this week after coach Stuart Dew challenged the younger players to step up earlier in the week.

“A lot of the young boys in our team are generals,” he said.

“I’m one of them so yeah I’ve got a lot to work on with communication and that sort of thing so I’m pretty keen for the challenge.” 

“Hopefully we can get back on the board and I can get a Gatorade shower."