"Now or never" for Matt Vardenega

Canberra defender Matt Vardenega admits it's a case of "now or never" as he looks to make his mark on the NEAFL competition in 2019.

“It's really a case of now or never. I joined Canberra three-years ago and this season I feel like I have to try new things and step out of my comfort zone and really cement my place in the side," said Vardenega.

Matt Vardenega is set for a big 2019.

Having played 37 games since debuting in 2016 the 21-year-old says consistency off the field will be the key to becoming a mainstay in Canberra's defence in 2019.

"Personally I think that being consistent with things off the field will assist in cementing my spot in the team."

"Being more committed in the gym and having another year to grow has definitely helped my confidence already, so sticking to a routine will hopefully carry into games."

Whilst setting himself individual targets in 2019 Vardenega has also implored his side to "aim for the stars" as the club look to bounce back from last season's preliminary final heartbreak.

"I think we need to aim for the stars and never say never with what we want to achieve this year."

"Our goal as a team is very clear and to get there, we need to be helping to get the best out of each other which has been seen already this pre-season."

Vardenega in action for Canberra in 2018. Photo: TJ Yelds/NEAFL

A member of the club's leadership group since 2017 Vardenega says while he relishes the challenge of being a leader every player is capable of playing a leadership role this season.

"I definitely think that with being such a young side, it is vital that no matter who you are, you can be a leader."

"I’ve always loved to be able to help others and I think that comes down to the amount of care I have for everyone involved in the club. I really strive to help others any way I can and help them get the best out of themselves on and off the field."

"There certainly isn’t any pressure of being a leader at the club, as there are so many blokes who share the load and having such a great group of people to help makes it very easy."

Having joined the club as a foundation player in 2016 the former Queanbeyan Tiger credits the club's culture for the recent on-field success and believes the club is well positioned to go one step further in 2019.

"The club has definitely evolved from the inaugural year and I think the culture has definitely been a factor in that."

"The boys all really care for each other which makes being around the club an absolute pleasure."

"I think that through the family feel that has been developed throughout the club, it has carried out through to on-field success."

"I definitely think that we can make a huge impact on the competition this year."

"Anything can happen with the young group we have and I’m really excited to see how we go."

Canberra open their 2019 pre-season account against the GWS Giants at Gungahlin Oval on March the 7th.

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