A positional change for young SUN Jacob Dawson in the pre-season from the midfield to defence is starting to show results on the field.
Dawson is a natural inside midfielder who has played in that position since his junior football days.
In his debut season last year he played three AFL games, all in the engine room.
But a pre-season discussion with Stuart Dew and Nick Malceski prompted Dawson to make the switch to defence in a bid to earn more senior games in 2019.
It was a tough transition but after six months Dawson earnt his long-awaited recall and played in Round 18 against Carlton.
“It was a disappointing result but we thought we ticked off most of our KPIs and gave us a chance to really win the game,” Dawson told SUNS Media.
“So it was good to be back and hopefully I can hang around now.”
Dawson said he’s been able to lean on some of the experienced players in the backline to accelerate his learning in his new role.
“It’s been good, I’ve been learning a lot off Pearce (Hanley) especially and Lachie (Weller),” Dawson said.
“Our defence is a pretty proactive team and instead of just following your man around, being proactive has been a big change for me.
“And then it’s getting the ball on the outside and really working on my ball use and using it well.
“I’ve enjoyed that, it’s something different to the midfield but I think I’ve embraced it and learnt a lot.”
Dawson thinks the versatility he now possesses will help him down the track.
“I think last year it was hard for me to crack into the team only being able to play in the midfield,” he said.
“Just adding another string to my bow and being able to play there, I think that’s helped my outside game if I go back and play in the midfield eventually too.
“I really want to finish the season well and hopefully bring some wins home for the SUNS and the Gold Coast so that’s my goal.”