All-Australian half-forward Toby Greene has been a smash hit in his latest role, but it needed some stern words from GWS Giants coach Leon Cameron to get him on track after a rocky start to the AFL season.
Previously a prolific ball-winning midfielder, Greene played as a forward for part of last year but moved into the role on a fulltime basis this season.
He has shone as both a scorer and provider, but has continued to rack up healthy possession numbers.
Greene has more than doubled his previous best season goal haul booting 39 while totting up 21 touches a game, the highest average of any of the top 20 goalkickers.
He has underlined his selflessness by being the joint third highest player for goal assists this season and has executed more tackles than in any other year of his career.
Greene said it had definitely been his most consistent year, though he didn’t make a good start in the opening round loss to Melbourne, when he touched the ball just 12 times.
“Leon spoke to me at the start of the year, the first game of the year was one of my worst games,” Greene told AAP.
“He just said ‘you’re a fifth-year player now, you’ve got to be bringing the same footy week in week out.’
“It’s something I’ve tried to work on and I think I’ve been able to do that, but I want to be able to do it in finals.”
Greene credited the coaching staff and fellow Giants small forwards Steve Johnson and Devon Smith for helping him adjust to his position.
“Amon Buchanan is our forwards coach and I guess I sort of play a similar role to him when he was playing, so he’s been really good for that,” Greene said.
“Obviously having having guys like Stevie and Dev, now that Dev has played eight games back (from injury), we’re starting to work really well together and hopefully we can bring that into finals.”
Greene is part of a potent and multi-faceted Giants forward line.
They are the second highest scoring side in the competition and he is one of four Giants to have kicked over 30 goals, alongside Jeremy Cameron (49), Johnson (43) and Jon Patton (34).
“I guess it makes it harder for teams coming up against us if everyone (up forward) can provide different strengths,” Greene said.
“Even the three key forwards play different to each other, so I think it’s building that synergy with each other.”