Richmond went small. Adelaide went tall.
Now, the Western Bulldogs will be looking to emulate Adelaide’s potent forward line with their own trio of tall forwards in 2018.
Tom Boyd and Jack Redpath will be joined by prized recruit Josh Schache at the kennel with forwards coach Ashley Hanson telling afl.com.au they are looking at options to play all three key forwards together.
“There’s no reason why they all can’t play in the same forward line,” Hansen said.
“It’s a great headache to have if they’re all marking the ball. If they’re all converting on goal and providing defensive pressure, they’ll all play.
“Being opened minded is really important in our game because it depends on the opposition and who you’ve got available for selection.
Through Taylor Walker, Tom Lynch and Josh Jenkins, Adelaide claimed the minor premiership with their three-pronged forward line and Hansen hasn’t tried to hide the fact that the Dogs have learnt a lot from what the Crows did well last season.
“You certainly reflect on who went well last year, and it’s really important that we learn from who won the flag, but we took a lot away from what Adelaide did as well.
“(Small forward lines) have been in vogue over the past two years, and it worked for us and Richmond, but we’ve seen the power of Adelaide’s attack with their height, and that won them the most games last season, so clearly that works as well.
“I think (our height) is a strength of ours going into the season.”
Hansen may have identified a strength of the Dogs in 2018 but didn’t ignore their 2017 weaknesses with efficiency in front of goal one glaring error.
“We’re making sure all our areas (of the ground) are covered but certainly focusing on refining (our ball use inside 50) to get maximum return for the good work we do in the midfield and backline,” Hansen said.
“It’s knowing how each player likes the ball to be delivered, so hopefully our list can continue to get training hours into them.”