Senior coach Justin Longmuir said Fremantle will persist with using 2020 Rising Star winner Caleb Serong as a tagger despite seeing his potential in a traditional midfield role.
Against Hawthorn in round 17, the 20-year-old had arguably a career-best game with 30 disposals, 17 contested possessions, 10 clearances and eight inside 50’s.
His 10 clearances were the second-most ever for a Fremantle player aged 20 and under, one short of Paul Hasleby’s 11 against West Coast in 2001.
In an interview with Hasleby and Karl Langdon on 6PR, Longmuir said the tagging role was a great way for Serong to develop into an elite midfielder.
“(Tagging) is definitely not over (for Serong),” Longmuir said.
“I still think there's a lot of merit in being able to play on the opposition's best mid and, and learn from them.
“Sometimes team balance requires us to take something off the opposition. We can't just let the opposition mids run free all the time. He's the one that does that role for us.”
Longmuir highlighted that Serong was only in his second year and was on occasion getting more midfield minutes than fourth-years Andrew Brayshaw and Adam Cerra.
“As a young player, you sometimes have to earn your stripes in the midfield,” Longmuir said.
“Playing that role actually gets him time in the midfield over Cerra and Brayshaw at times, so he's got to look at the benefit and I know he does take great honour in playing those sort of roles and helping the team out the best he can.
“On the weekend, he had a bit of a free rein but there's going to be times when we ask him to do roles for the team. And I know he would approach it the right way.”