Deledio flourishing forward

Brett Deledio5Richmond star Brett Deledio continues to thrive in his more permanent role up forward within the Tigers’ line-up.

Deledio kicked an equal game-high three goals in a top-class display in Richmond’s 16-point victory over St Kilda at Etihad Stadium last Sunday, to take his season’s goal tally to 12 in 11 games.

The 28-year-old veteran of 225 league games, provides the Tigers with another potent goalkicking option, as well as delivering customary drive through his blistering pace and creative play.

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“I’m certainly enjoying playing across the half-forward line,” Deledio said on Fox Footy’s ‘360’ program.

“It’s somewhere I feel settled.

“I’m still able to spend a little bit of time in the midfield, just to give Trent (Cotchin), ‘Dusty’ (Dustin Martin), Anthony Miles – those sort of guys – a chop-out.”

Deledio’s disposal numbers may be slightly down on previous seasons, but his overall effectiveness mirrors that of the team.

Richmond is ranked 11th in the competition for total disposals and 12th for inside-50 entries, but has won 10 of 15 games so far to sit fifth on the ladder.

“We’re not a high-possession team . . . We certainly don’t have guys that get 35-plus (disposals per game),” Deledio said.

“We’re all about making them (disposals) count and backing our teammates one-v-one down the line.

“Maybe, at times, that means we’re kicking it long, rather than just over-possessing and holding on to the footy.”

Deledio pointed to a couple of key areas where the Tigers had significantly improved this season.

“I think we’re defending better . . . we’re certainly not having huge run of goals or huge scores kicked against us,” he said.

“But we’re also controlling the footy and not giving it back as much.

“That just helps you so much in terms of going forward and not having to work as hard defensively . . .

“We’ve just got to keep learning and keep developing as a good side. We showed on the weekend (v St Kilda) that we can play good footy, but we didn’t finish off. That’s what you see Hawthorn and Sydney do . . . they’re ruthless right from go to whoa.

“We’ve got a couple of great challenges, playing Fremantle and Hawthorn in the next couple of weeks.

“We’ve shown that we can beat Sydney in Sydney and ‘Freo’ over there, so the challenge is to do it at home here in Melbourne against two of the better teams in the competition . . .”