Sharrod Wellingham could help free-up star Eagle Scott Selwood
Scott Selwood was still having some tight run-with roles last year. We can free him up at times and use Sharrod in that role.
WEST Coast club champion Scott Selwood could be given even more ball-winning freedom this season, with recruit Sharrod Wellingham shaping as a strong run-with option for the Eagles.
Selwood evolved from a shutdown specialist to a top-line midfielder last year, ranking No.1 at West Coast for overall disposals (average 25) and No.3 for clearances and contested possessions.
The 22-year-old was still handed run-with jobs when required, but coach John Worsfold said Wellingham could share that role in 2013 after impressing this pre-season.
"It gives us a bit more flexibility for sure," Worsfold told 6PR.
"Scott Selwood was still having some tight run-with roles last year. We can free him up at times and use Sharrod in that role.
"[We can] still use Scotty, because he's shown he can play that role and win the footy himself …. but we certainly think we can use Sharrod and swap him up."
Wellingham started his career as a run-with midfielder and played the role regularly through Collingwood's 2010 premiership season.
He has, however, been a consistent ball-winner for the past three seasons and the Eagles are excited about his ability to play a variety of midfield roles, as well as half-forward.
After 92 games in five seasons with the Magpies, the 24-year-old will likely be unveiled by the Eagles during their opening NAB Cup matches against Fremantle and Geelong on February 16.
"In that first week we're allowed to play 34 players, so we'll probably use all those guys," Worsfold said.
"For a variety of different reasons we've probably got about 10 guys that we won't play that weekend, so that means everyone else is going to have a run.
"We'll see all the available guys and a lot of new names as well."
After missing the entire 2012 season because of injury, Mark LeCras and Mark Nicoski will be available for the NAB Cup.
Brad Sheppard, who made strong progress in a new half-forward role last year, suffered a thumb injury two weeks ago and will become available for the second round of the pre-season competition.
After the departure of tall forward Quinten Lynch to Collingwood, Worsfold said the club was working through options in attack for 2013, with Fraser McInnes to press his claims in the NAB Cup.
"We think he's going to be a really solid key forward," Worsfold said of the 19-year-old, who is entering his second season.
"We've obviously got (Josh) Kennedy and (Jack) Darling who are going to be the mainstays.
"Jack basically ran with our midfielders in their 2km time trails, so he can cover the ground as a roaming forward as well."