Jayden Short has won the praise of Richmond coach Damien Hardwick for his successful transition from small forward to small defender in the Tigers’ senior line-up throughout the course of season 2016.
Short, elevated from Richmond’s rookie list to the primary list on the eve of this season, has become a valuable contributor across the backline, after kicking three goals in his Round 2 AFL debut against Collingwood at the MCG.
He has utilised the key football attributes he possesses, of skill and speed, to the team’s advantage in his new defensive role.
The 20-year-old again impressed in the Tigers’ win against Brisbane at the MCG last Saturday afternoon, picking up a dozen disposals, including six score involvements and taking four marks.
“He’s a good ball user, and he’s only going to gain in confidence, no doubt. He’s only played back for a brief period of time, even at VFL level,” Hardwick said.
“I like smart players . . . he is that.
“Defensively, he’s got some areas that we’ll work on, but offensively, when he’s got the ball in his hands, you can see that he likes to pull the trigger on those kicks.
“A couple of ones down the middle from kick-ins (last Saturday) I wasn’t too happy about, but he pulled them off.
“We’ll continue to put the ball in his hands and get a good result, I think.”