Senior coach Justin Longmuir has thrown his support behind star forward/midfielder Michael Walters after returning to form in Fremantle’s 62-point win against Hawthorn in round 17.
Walters has goaled in 12 of his 14 games in 2021 but has seen his disposal average drop after spending more time forward due to Freo’s midfield depth.
Longmuir said the coaches have been frustrated seeing Walters’ teammates miss opportunities to bring the 2019 All Australian into the game.
“I understand everyone looks at the stat sheet at the end of the day…but the amount of times we've been missing him is almost laughable,” Longmuir told 6PR.
“He’ll be on his own in the middle of the ground and we're either doing miss kicks to him or haven't seen him. It actually became a bit of a thing in the box, laughing at how much we're missing him and not seeing him and not giving the ball to him.”
Walters spent time on the wing against Hawthorn and had one goal and 21 disposals, his second-highest for the season.
Longmuir said he was happy to give Walters more wing time while trying to get him through the midfield.
“We put him on the wing a little bit more on the weekend. I thought he built into the game really well and started getting his confidence back as the game went on,” Longmuir said.
“When he touches the footy, it turns into scores. We just want the ball in his hands as much as we can, and he worked really hard into the game on the weekend.
“We’ll have to continue to give him a little bit of wing time, little bit of midfield time and still maintain his forward time and just try and put him where we think he can impact the game.
“You just need guys like that. Getting the footy and using it the way he does.”
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