Giant Tomlinson enjoying AFL backs job

He’s the ultimate utility, but GWS stalwart Adam Tomlinson is enjoying the challenge of playing in the backline of the rising AFL club.

Tomlinson has the rare combination of being tall enough at 193cm to play in a key position, but also has the stamina and endurance to play on the ball.

Used primarily as a forward in his first few years at the Giants, Tomlinson has played five games straight as a defender since being recalled.

“Playing forward is definitely harder as you’ve got to dictate the position of where you can go,” Tomlinson, who turned 23 this week, told AAP.

“When you play back you are actually dictated to where you go and then you defend first and once you’ve done that you can try and get a bit of the ball.

“But still trying to know where your opponent is and then read the flight of the ball can be pretty tricky at times and sometimes when you’re left alone in the square and there’s no-one in front of you, it can get a little bit daunting, but it’s always enjoyable.”

He has been named on the half forward flank to play West Coast at Spotless Stadium on Saturday, bit it remains to be seen where he will line up.

Although yet to nail down a permanent position, Tomlinson regards his versatility as a help rather than a hindrance.

“It gives me more flexibility on being picked in the side, but at the same time, you have to learn each position, so it takes longer to develop in each position,” Tomlinson said.

Tomlinson rated Giants defensive organiser Heath Shaw as the best communicator he had ever played alongside, even if he has a reputation for barking orders at his colleagues.

“You can’t take it the wrong way, because even if he’s giving you some positive feedback he’s still screaming it at you in your face,” Tomlinson said.

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