Wright move for Kangaroo into defence
NORTH Melbourne's Sam Wright began his AFL life as a sneaky forward, ending his second season (2010) with a rush of goals - 14 in his last five games.
But the 25-year-old is now making a career out of stopping the type of player he used to be, as an integral member of the Kangaroos' defence.
"I think the game just changed a bit. I was that in-between height, and lost a bit of confidence in front of goal as well," the 188cm Wright told ARM.
After adding just 20 goals in his next two seasons, coach Brad Scott switched Wright to defence.
"I think the best thing for my career was to settle at halfback. I can try and run and create, be more involved in the game, get more of the ball, which I was struggling to do up forward," he said.
Wright will be pivotal today when the Kangaroos return to the Gabba to play the Lions, who add goalsneaks Josh Green and Dayne Zorko to the side that topped 100 points in last week's loss to West Coast.
"They have a lot of talent in their forward line. I think their real strengths are their small forwards ... Zorko, (Allen) Christensen, Green. They work hard and it's going to be a real test for us small defenders," Wright said.
"I think if we can get on top of them it will go along way towards helping us win the game."
Wright enjoyed his last visit to play the Lions, last July, when they won by 72 points. "Myself and Shaun Atley played our 100ths, but Boomer (Brent Harvey) played his 400th so I don't think anyone remembers that," he recalled.
This time Wright will renew acquaintances with ex-teammate Ryan Bastinac, who collected 23 disposals on debut for the Lions last week.
"He was one of my best mates at the club - it was sad to see him go," he said. "But, once you're on the field there's no friendships out there. He needed a change in his career, so we don't hold it against him.
"And he won't have to go to the solarium anymore so that'll be good for him."