Sydney star Kurt Tippett has vowed not to repeat his weekend “brain fade” as he prepares to make an impact in dual roles in the AFL finals.
Tippett, who plays his 150th AFL game on Saturday against Gold Coast at the SCG, is relishing his two roles as forward and ruckman.
He is the Swans’ second leading goalkicker in 2015 behind Lance Franklin and has already amassed a season career-high tally of hitouts.
Tippett’s form has lifted in recent weeks, but he’s philosophical about criticism he copped prior to that.
“We are in a high performance environment, I think people are entitled to their opinion,” Tippett said on Tuesday.
“This year has been a little bit different in the fact I’ve been playing in the ruck and up forward so I’ve been trying to get that balance right.
“I want to play both those roles as best I can, so I want to have an impact in the middle, also an impact in front of goal.”
Tippett attracted unwanted attention during last weekend’s win over St Kilda when he played on quickly after taking a mark close to the posts, only to miss from in front after kicking off just one step.
Asked if Swans coach John Longmire had spoken to him about it, Tippett said: “He did, we had a quick laugh and then it got serious.
“He said `if you ever do that again, I’ll drag you,’ so I’ve got to go through my full routine every time I kick a goal.”
Asked why he played on, Tippett said: “I don’t know. That was a bit of a brain fade, something that probably won’t happen again.”
Tippett, who played 104 games with Adelaide before moving to Sydney following the Crows’ salary cap scandal in 2012, admitted to having some tough times last year when knee problems limited the high-priced Swans recruit to 14 games.
“You have a few dark moments I guess, when the body is not co-operating as much as you’d like,” Tippett said.
He stressed fourth-placed Sydney won’t take the lowly Suns lightly this week.
“There’s a lot on the line for us and we want to finish as high up on the ladder as possible to give ourselves the best chance going into the finals,” Tippett said.
In 2012 Tippett was linked to the Suns as he grew up on the Gold Coast and his parents live there, but he said he was very happy about ending up in Sydney.
A promising basketballer who tried several football codes, Tippett was a relatively late convert to Australian rules and only committed to the sport in his late teens.