Sharrod Wellingham is embracing his newfound freedom on the football field.
West Coast senior coach Adam Simpson has plucked the 27-year-old from his defensive 50m comfort zone and thrown him to the wing, in the midfield and even up forward for periods throughout the first four games of season 2017.
Wellingham said he loved the flexibility of his new role and thanked the likes of utility Elliot Yeo and ‘Mr Fix It’ Sam Mitchell for allowing him up to take on new challenges this year.
“At the moment, with Yeoy being in great form and (the fact) we’re low in stocks with forwards, that’s kind of why I went forward at the weekend,” Wellingham said.
“It’s critical to be able to play a multitude of positions. Simmo used me up forward on (Thursday). I’m not sure what his plan is this week, but I really enjoy that side of footy, being able to play in different positions.
“Having Sam here this year has allowed me to spend a little bit more time through the midfield, because he can go down back. I think Yeoy and I are both really enjoying that at the moment. I’m happy to play wherever.”
While he’s happy to roam the field and play a variety of roles when required, Wellingham is a defender at heart and he was extremely proud of the Eagles' ability to restrict Sydney to a miserly 65 points at Domain Stadium on Thursday night.
“The last couple of weeks I think we’ve been on the improve; we’ve been steadily improving,” he said.
“The first few weeks we let a few too many goals through. I think the cohesion back there is really good at the moment.”
Wellingham also sang the praises of All Australian defender come goal sneak Jeremy McGovern.
With Jack Darling on the sidelines nursing an ankle injury, McGovern started in the attacking arc and kicked two valuable goals to help West Coast get on top of the dogged Swans.
“I think he snuck back a little bit as well. He certainly managed to find his way behind the ball; that’s where he likes to be,” Wellingham joked.
“Gov’s really important in the way that he can go forward and back. He’s open minded to wherever he needs to be used.”