Jack Martin has been on fire in the opening three rounds. Picture: Bradley Kanaris/AFL
Jack Martin has been on fire in the opening three rounds. Picture: Bradley Kanaris/AFL

Midfield move suits rising Sun Martin

Jack Martin and Stuart Dew struck a deal at the end of last year that is already paying off for both parties.

A couple of significant moments at either end of the ground, a lead snatching goal from David Swallow and a match-saving mark from Sam Collins in defence were the highlights from the Suns' win over Fremantle.

But it was an overall performance across the ground from Martin that put them in the winning position.

Martin's fair share of highlights in his 83-game career and multiple third-place club championship finishes, playing predominantly as a forward, prove his value to the team.

But fans and coaches have always wanted more.

Former coach Rodney Eade once said he wanted three Martins. His dilemma was that Martin was the coolest head and best decision-maker at half back, but also the most likely to rip a game apart in the forward line.

And his contested work suggested he could add an element to a Suns midfield that has always lacked depth.

Dew also thought midfield was the place a player of Martin's ability could make the most impact. The deal was if he could get fit enough, he'd play there.

If the first two rounds are a sign of things to come, he is now a midfielder who rests in the attacking fifty and not a forward who could pinch-hit on the ball.

"Jack's instigated that by his pre-season," Dew said.

"We had a really good chat at the end of last year about what type of player Jack wants to be and how we could help facilitate that - our end of the bargain and his.

"We're confident we've held up ours, and Jack's certainly held up his with the way he attacked pre-season and in really good shape.

"He's given himself every opportunity to play more on-ball and like you saw, he can certainly be a dangerous forward as well."

And crashing through packs when playing as a midfielder. Picture: Darren England.
And crashing through packs when playing as a midfielder. Picture: Darren England.

SuperCoach fans may not like to hear it, but what Dew doesn't expect is for Martin to become an accumulator.

Only David Swallow and Nat Fyfe won more contested footy which shows although he remains lightly framed, he is equally adept in the clinches as he is in space.

All Dew wants is for his touches to count.

"Some players can get 30 and we're not sure where they go and what they do, but Jack's possessions are quality,'' he said.

"If he can influence the game like he did, whether it's 15 or 20 we don't mind. I think he's a really influential player and the opposition would be wary of him."

News Corp Australia


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