Chris Jansen is set for an aggressive game against Sturt this weekend.
By Ella Watson.
Chris Jansen was recruited by The Central District Football Club from the Belconnen Magpies in the NEAFL (North Eastern Australian Football League) at the end of 2014 and played his first season with the club last year.
Despite injury Jansen had an impressive year last season and finished 5th at the clubs Best and Fairest.
“It was a surprise, I didn’t really expect anything like that especially since at the start of the year I was just hoping to have a bit of an impact for the team and play a few games.”
Jansen was also awarded the leagues Powerade Star search award for the best rising star at the end of last season.
“It was a nice bonus towards the end of last season I wasn’t expecting it at all, it was great to win, but at the end of the day it’s not what you play footy for you play to win premierships.”
After an impressive season and despite injury Jansen entered into talks with AFL clubs for the 2016 draft, but was unlucky not to be selected.
“It’s hard to say whether I was unlucky or not I was disappointed I had meetings with a fair few clubs, but at the end of the day they preferred other guys when it came to the pick.”
“I was very disappointed at the time, but it’s made me more determined this year and I will probably play with more aggression.”
Jansen’s recruitment by Centrals was due to his determination to play in the SANFL, to improve his skill and fitness level in a league which demands high quality football.
Having heard about the aggressive level of footy played in the SANFL he sent vision to various SANFL clubs.
“I got in touch with the club through some guys I know, set up some vision, they had a look and started chatting from there it got to the stage where I came over for a visit and trained with the guys and loved it.”
“I was in contact with other [SANFL] clubs, but meeting all the guys at centrals I felt comfortable straight away.”
Now settled in at Centrals Jansen lives with team mates Luke Habel and Luke Barmby.
Happy with his house mates Jansen says they share all household responsibilities, although he admits his cooking skills are at best average, but he is grateful Habel can make a decent risotto and Barmby is a good cook.
“Its good fun, I’ve lived with Luke Habel now for a year and a half and Luke Barmby for a few months we all share the cooking and get along well.”
Last season saw Centrals get off to a slow start only winning two of their first six games before they picked up their pace and charged into the finals with an exciting win over South.
Jansen admits they struggled to find form and gel as a team in the first half of the season which was frustrating especially after such a strong pre-season.
“We had a good pre-season all the guys were looking fit, we had a tough start with some tough teams, but I think we just didn’t have our game plan down fully.”
This season round one saw Centrals get off to a flying start with a 107-point win over North Adelaide at home.
The game was played in front of an amazing home crowd who undoubtedly helped lift Centrals to victory.
“I was really happy with the game, all the boys were, we played the style of footy we want to play and played it really well its given us confidence going forward we just need to back it up.”
“There was a big crowd out here which was great when we won, hopefully we can keep it up for the rest of the season they are awesome to play in front of every week.”
Jansen opened up the game in the second term scoring a goal within the first 30 seconds, his efforts landed him in the best players list at the end of the game.
Content with the team’s effort in round one Jansen is not one to rest on his laurels and will push even harder to be competitive against Sturt this weekend.
“I was happy enough with it for round one, I would have liked to have more of an impact with the footy I was a bit quieter than I like to be, but we got a big win and I’m happy to get through it with the knee injuries I had last season.”
“I want to be tougher around the footy, lay a few more tackles and be more damaging going forward.”
After round one Centrals were sitting high at the top of the ladder, but with a bye last week dropped to third on the ladder.
This weekend Centrals take on Sturt at Unley oval at 1.40pm on Sunday 10th of April.
“They were pretty competitive against Woodville, but we will go into the game full of confidence.”