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Pedersen rides the cult-figure wave

Matt Burgan  October 10, 2014 2:44 PM

Cameron Pedersen season review Cam Pedersen speaks to Matt Burgan abour his 2014 season
Cameron Pedersen of the Demons in action during the 2014 AFL Round 14 match between the Melbourne Demons and the North Melbourne Kangaroos at the MCG, Melbourne on June 22, 2014. (Photo: Michael Willson/AFL Media)

Cameron Pedersen of the Demons in action during the 2014 AFL Round 14 match between the Melbourne Demons and the North Melbourne Kangaroos at the MCG, Melbourne on June 22, 2014. (Photo: Michael Willson/AFL Media)

CAM Pedersen concedes it was a “big turnaround” from how the Melbourne faithful embraced him as a player from 2013 to this year.

Pedersen, who was one of the competition’s most improved players this year, said he was fully aware that Melbourne supporters and the public at large had rallied around him this year, after an indifferent first season at the Demons last year. He even became somewhat of a cult-figure this year.

“I like [to] go on Facebook and see what people say about people and last year I got berated a fair bit,” he told Dee TV.

“You just tend not to take it to heart. I think it’s actually good that fans and supporters have that much passion – they love the club that much. You don’t let it get to you and you use that as motivation to try and prove people wrong.

“This year it’s good to get a little bit of recognition and get the supporters to feel the club didn’t make the wrong mistake by getting me here, which has been good.”

The 27-year-old said being an older player – albeit still with fewer than 50 matches to his name – was an interesting situation.

“It’s a bit hard because I’m 27, but this is only my fourth year in the AFL, so even the next pre-season I come back with all the first to four year players because I’ve only done four pre seasons, which is a bit weird because everyone else is 21 or 22.”

“It’s a bit different but it’s my favourite thing is … I probably got to experience a bit of life and not just start when I was 18.

“Some of the boys have never had a job, other than football, so I’ve had a lot of experiences. It’s allowed me to do university and start a family. I started late but I wouldn’t have it any other way.”

Now, Pedersen’s challenge is to back up his 19-game season with another strong campaign in 2015, which he well aware of.

“I’m more of a forward now, so I’ll actually train the full pre-season with the forwards this year instead of last year,” he said.

“Going into this year, I trained until Christmas as a defender and then with what happened to [Jesse] Hogan and [Mitch] Clark, I got told I needed to go forward, so I had a bit of a shorter turn with the forwards. 

“This pre-season, I’ll have a full three or four months with the forwards, which will be good. [I] can improve all parts of my game, but the best part of my game is my marking, so [I’ll] just keep working on that.”