High-flyer Jeremy Howe admits he must improve his consistency if he is to cement a place in Collingwood’s senior side and fulfil his potential at his new AFL club.
The utility left Melbourne on Monday in a complex deal that also involved the two SA-based teams.
No-one doubts Howe’s ability, but he accepts there remained a big question mark over him after 100 senior games with the Demons.
“The consistency has obviously been an issue … I feel like I do have the ability to be a consistent player,” Howe said on Tuesday.
“From game zero to 100, I haven’t been able to do that consistently.
“I feel like my next 100 are going to be the ones (where) I can provide the footy I know I can play.
“I have something to prove. I need to come here and work really hard to get into this side.”
Melbourne played Howe at either end of the ground and he said a defined role with the Magpies was a big reason why he decided to join them.
There was talk of stalled contract negotiations with the Demons, plus a potential trade with Gold Coast.
“The contract stuff, it’s always going to be big to talk about and it’s always going to be the leading story,” he said.
“But for myself, it was always going to be a role and what I was going to be able to play.
“What Collingwood delivered for me, that wing/half-forward role, was definitely appealing – that was the biggest drawcard.”
It also helped that Howe grew up a Collingwood fan before Melbourne recruited him.
His father, also a mad Collingwood fan, once gave him Nathan Buckley’s autograph.
“It lived inside my wallet, where my driver’s licence was meant to go … until my wallet gave way,” Howe said.
The move to Collingwood was sealed when Howe and his new coach met in Bali on their post-season holidays.
“Speaking with Collingwood and having the chance to play for the team you barracked for as a kid was always a big drawcard,” Howe said.
Howe said his father was “pumped”, even more excited about the move than he was.
But for all the excitement, Howe knew he has a big pre-season ahead.
“I have to work hard and try to get into this young, exciting list they have coming through that was obviously appealing to me as well,” he said.
Howe’s 100 games at Melbourne only yielded 21 wins and no finals – also big reasons to join Collingwood.
But he added it was a tough decision to leave, saying Melbourne also looked on the right track.
“They (Collingwood) demand high standards and they expect to be making finals definitely in the coming years,” he said.
“It was very appealing. I haven’t been exposed to AFL finals and it’s something I want to be playing.
“The real discussion was what I needed to move forward footy-wise and it was an easy decision in that sense.
“But obviously the emotional attachment is the hardest bit.”