Melbourne turns to Sam Frost to play forward

463838928MELBOURNE will attempt to turn Sam Frost into a versatile forward to help ease the burden on colt spearhead Jesse Hogan this season.

Frost played mostly as a key defender at Greater Western Sydney and was restricted to only three games in his first year at Melbourne last season due to a toe injury.

But the 194cm big man has emerged as an important forward line option for the Demons this season as they search for another strong-bodied marking target to partner Hogan inside 50m.

Chris Dawes, 27, endured another injury-riddled season last year and is in doubt for the Round 1 clash against Greater Western Sydney at the MCG after suffering another calf problem.

Demons football manager Josh Mahoney said Dawes has “struggled to have a consistent block of training this pre-season”, potentially creating a void at centre half forward in the early rounds.

In Dawes’ absence, Melbourne will look to Frost, 22, and Hogan, 21, to spearhead the club’s forward line in the NAB Challenge opener against Port Adelaide next Saturday, February 27.

The Demons took athletic key forward Sam Weiderman with pick No. 9 in last year’s draft but the 18-year-old will attempt to bulk up before he presses for regular senior selection.

Frost has spent the bulk of the preseason working on his forward line craft and will take another step towards locking in a senior berth in Friday’s scheduled intra-club match at Casey Fields

While the former Giants’ rookie has excellent speed and agility, his goalkicking remains a work in progress. He has booted two majors and four behinds from his 24 AFL games.

Upon arriving at Melbourne in exchange for pick No. 23 in 2014, Frost said “my plan is to play predominantly in a key defensive post, alongside Tom McDonald” to help fill the void created by James Frawley’s move to Hawthorn.

However, the Demons are expected to deploy Frost as a forward and part-time ruckman this season as the club attempts to ease the goalkicking load on Hogan this season and re-sign the Western Australian to a long-term contract extension