Sam Reid may become a full-time AFL swingman after the tall forward – who remains goalless this year – shone in defence and the midfield against Fremantle last weekend.
Following his strong performance on Saturday, it could be a while before Reid returns to a Sydney forward line stacked with Lance Franklin and Kurt Tippett.
“I think Sam knows he might be a bit of a swingman from here on in,” defender Rhyce Shaw said on Tuesday.
“He’s got to play the role the coach sets out for him.”
With Reid struggling for form in attack, coach John Longmire gave him a new assignment in defence during the first half of Sydney’s 14-point loss to the Dockers.
The Swans trailed by 48 points at halftime, but Reid, thrown onto a wing, helped them fight back with 17 touches and five inside-50s in the second half.
“He really turned the game I suppose in the third quarter,” Shaw said.
“Just his presence around the ball, and the way he was spoiling contests and taking big marks was really good and really impressive from Sammy. It helps our team a lot.”
A new role as a utility could be the catalyst for a turnaround in form for Reid.
After a promising first few years, Reid’s impact in attack has waned since twin towers Franklin and Tippett arrived at the club.
Reid, 23, signed a five-year deal with the Swans at the end of 2011 after kicking 22 goals in his second AFL season.
The agile, 196cm forward repaid the faith with 33 majors the following year.
But then Tippett arrived in 2013, and a year later Franklin signed that famous nine-year deal.
Since round one 2014, Franklin has kicked 92.60 in 26 games, while Tippett has booted 39.22 in 18 appearances.
In that time, Reid has just 17.9 to his name, from 24 games.
Shaw is hopeful Reid can continue his good form when the Swans meet the Western Bulldogs at the SCG on Saturday.
“He’s got to back it up this week and hopefully he can do that and string a few together,” Shaw said.