Essendon assistant coach Mark Harvey has revealed the team will expect their recruit Jake Stringer to play significant minutes in the midfield lineup during the Bombers’ season opener versus Adelaide tonight.
Essendon’s decision to utilise Stringer throughout the midfield has come under questioning throughout the pre-season, but they are looking to stick to their guns, for now.
Harvey explained on SEN Breakfast that the club has worked with the 23-year-old in developing his midfield talent and believe that Stringer will add some much needed depth in that area of the ground.
“We’ve trained him in the midfield all summer, so I’d expect him to spend at least 50 percent of his time in there,” Harvey told SEN Breakfast.
“We would like to have 10 to 12 players that can rotate through those areas, hence that’s the reason why we went after a player like him.”
Harvey admitted the Bombers’ system will require an adjustment period for Stringer and he will be used by the team in different lineups and structures in ways he may not be familiar with.
“Jake’s got some serious talent. Hopefully he can fit in within our system, and the way we play, which is a little bit different to the Bulldogs,” Harvey said.
Despite the underlining question of whether or not Stringer can hold his own in the middle for the Bombers, the club is most confident in the All-Australian when he goes forward and becomes a scoring option.
“The best part about Jake is when he goes into the forward line he will have some big forwards around him, which might actually take the focus off him, and also help him with his output in their forward line,” Harvey said.