Fremantle are set to send Liam Henry to the wing in 2021 as senior coach Justin Longmuir looks to get the most out of the top-10 pick’s skillset.
Henry has played the majority of his 20 games as a small forward, a role that according to Longmuir, doesn't best suit the 20-year-old's strengths.
This included 17 games in 2021, where he kicked 10.9.
“We’re going to try Liam Henry up the ground a little bit more, give him the opportunity to use his attributes and his running ability to change angles with the ball and take the game on,” Longmuir told 6PR.
“Through need more than anything, we played him as a deeper forward last year and it probably didn’t suit his style of play and didn’t allow him to play to his strengths.
“He’s trained there (on the wing) all pre-season and he’s been really impressive with his intensity and his work rate at training.
“I think it’s exciting, up the ground he’s able to play to his strengths a little bit more and when he gets the ball in his hands, things usually happen.”
Longmuir confirmed that Michael Walters would play mostly as a forward in 2022, while featuring in the midfield as required.
“He’ll play as a forward, that will be his main role with flexibility to go onto the wing and midfield,” Longmuir said.
“I think late in the year he showed some promise on the wing, a bit like Liam - his ability to change angles with the ball and set play up is really strong.
“I threw that option at him, whether he wanted to play in the midfield or on the wing, and he said he wants to keep bringing his traits as a forward and is really willing to embrace that role.”
Longmuir said the 2019 All Australian’s leadership would be crucial to support a young forward group.
“He’s really happy to lead our forward line, we’ve got a pretty young forward line when you look at it on paper and we need leadership down there, so Sonny’s put his hand up to do that,” Longmuir said.
“I thought he was unlucky in a lot of games last year, we didn’t help him out as much as we could have, we missed him a lot. I think he’ll be back to his best this year.”