Richmond’s Cotchin could tag in AFL

Playing as a tagger would be a startling AFL switch for Trent Cotchin, who may as well have a target monogrammed on the back of his Richmond guernsey.

But the Tigers captain hints that role reversal may occasionally happen during this AFL season.

While it’s mainly about a breather away from the midfield mayhem, given the reduced interchange rotations, the switch from hunted to hunter might work to shake off Cotchin’s regular shadows.

North Melbourne’s Ben Jacobs limited a frustrated Cotchin to just nine touches as the Tigers lost their third-straight elimination final last September.

Cotchin said the cutback in rotations to 90 would require onballers to be far more adaptable, rather than instinctively heading to the bench during a game.

“I’m still only 25 and love playing in the midfield,” he said.

“But the reality is, with 90 rotations, you need to become flexible.

“Whether you see yourself playing across half-back or in the forward line, we just need to play our role.

“That will be the challenge for me – it might be sitting on someone or maybe just free-roaming.

“The reality is we go into each game with a different plan and we just need to execute it.”

The challenge for midfield stars such as Cotchin is to make sure that they have an influence, regardless of where they play.

“If you look at some of the guns in the competition, (Nat) Fyfe, (Patrick) Dangerfield, even if they’re resting down on the forward line for two or three minutes, they impact the scoreboard,” he said.

“That’s the challenge for all mids and, hopefully, I can impact it during the season.

“The game has got to a point where it’s challenging wherever you’re playing, you don’t get a rest.

“Up forward is not a rest because it’s more about defence now. But everyone loves kicking a goal, I suppose, so I will sneak down forward.

Cotchin, starting his fourth season as Tigers captain, said he isn’t distracted by talk that forward Jack Riewoldt would be a more suitable leader.

“There’s so many different media personalities and outlets out there and, if you listen too much to what’s going on to all the noise outside our four walls, the reality is you’ll be buried down and start to really doubt yourself,” he said.

“You don’t shy away from the comments, everyone is entitled to their opinion, but I know exactly what I’m doing and I believe the club and boys have faith in me.”

* All Offers and Promotions posted in this article excludes NSW residents.
Stay up to date with the latest sports news
Follow our social accounts to get exclusive content and all the latest sporting news!