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Wingard doing all the 'right' work

Harry Thring  February 8, 2016 4:21 PM

AFL 2016 Training - Port Adelaide 260116

ADELAIDE, AUSTRALIA - JANUARY 26: Chad Wingard of the Power in action during the Port Adelaide Power training session at Alberton Oval in Adelaide on January 26, 2016. (Photo by Michael Willson/AFL Media)

CHAD Wingard hopes improving his skill on his non-preferred right foot will help him become even more unpredictable in season 2016.

Port Adelaide star Wingard, a dual All Australian, is already one of the most feared players in the AFL and his skill at creating time and space has allowed him to compile a superb highlights reel in 89 AFL games.

It hass also meant the 21-year-old has barely needed to use his right foot – something Wingard is concerned could allow his opponents to start anticipating his moves.

After a 53-goal 2015 in which he averaged almost 20 possessions a game, the superstar was adamant he could keep improving this season.

"That right leg I don't think I've used too often, so I reckon I might try and have a few more kicks on that so I don't turn the same way every time," Wingard said.

"It's something that I'm going to have to improve on; it's definitely something that [doesn't] come naturally to me. I've by far nowhere near perfected my game.

"I've got a lot of things to improve on and one of them's my right foot, and my running capability's a big one too."

Wingard will also hit the Power's opening NAB Challenge game against the Sydney Swans on February 20 at full fitness, insisting he's felt no pain in his right knee.

He was forced to withdraw from the International Rules Series Test against Ireland last November with bone bruising in his knee on which he underwent minor surgery last January.

Speaking at his old school, Unity College in Murray Bridge, for the Power's community camp, Wingard was confident he'd be able to hit form early in the year, playing predominantly as a small forward under the likes of Charlie Dixon and Jay Schulz.

"Mentally I think [I'm] a bit more confident. I'm not coming into the season with one training session under my belt – I'm coming in with getting around the players a bit more and hopefully just a bit more of a fitness base," he said.

"We're going to have a lot of talls (in attack), I'm just going to keep working on my crumbing skills – that's something I'm probably going to need this year with big 'Dicko' (Dixon) clunking some big marks in there and 'Schulzy' and also "Westy' (Justin Westhoff).

"[I'll] be playing more of a small kind of a role instead of a tall, marking type of role this year."

Port Adelaide plays St Kilda in the Opening Round of the 2016 AFL Premiership Season at the Adelaide Oval on Easter Sunday 27 March.


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