GWS Giants coach Leon Cameron is to start using star key forward Jeremy Cameron in different roles to increase his Plan B options in tough AFL matches.
The coach is a great believer in players developing a second position and not even All-Australian Cameron, the club’s leading goalkicker in each of their first four seasons, will be exempt as the Giants push towards a first finals campaign.
“We’ll start exploring with Jeremy a little bit, probably up the ground a little bit more, because we just need that flexibility,” said Cameron on Thursday.
“Because any given day the opposition can get hold of you so you’ve got to be able to switch into Plan B.”
Fellow key forward Jon Patton has already headed down the Plan B route, with a recent rash of injuries to key defenders resulting in him spending a good deal of time down back.
“I think we’ll use him (Patton) in a number of roles,” Cameron said, before drawing on a golf analogy.
“Jon has got to understand you’ve got to have a one wood (driver), but you’ve also got to make sure your two wood is there as well.
“That’s a key position back and we’re really pleased that he’s actually contributing in that area.”
Cameron will blood teenage debutant Matthew Kennedy against Essendon at Etihad Stadium on Sunday in place of the star veteran Steve Johnson, who has been troubled by a foot issue in recent weeks.
Kennedy, 19, will be the fifth Giants academy product to graduate to the senior side.
“We probably should have rested (Johnson) a few weeks ago, so it’s blown up a little bit,” Cameron said.
“Hopefully it’s only the one to two weeks. We’re not going to know until halfway through next week how it’s settled.”
Kennedy can play in the midfield or up forward, with the latter area being the territory normally dominated by Cameron, Patton and Johnson.
Cameron was confident his side wouldn’t drop off this weekend after a tough four-week stretch against other top-eight teams.
“I’m confident there’s not going to be (a drop off) because the way they trained today, their energy levels were really good,” Cameron said.
“They (Essendon) have had a couple of six-day breaks and performances they are going to look at and say they were probably a little bit unacceptable from their levels.
“Clearly they are going to be up for the hard ball on Sunday and we need to make sure our energy is ready to go and I’m confident we will be.”
Cameron said defenders Aidan Corr and Caleb Marchbank and forward Devon Smith could all possibly return from injury in the NEAFL next week, but could also wait one more week after their bye.