Suns give Peter Wright the chance to put theory into practice

Peter Wright2Peter Wright has spent the entire year cramming.

Having just completed his Year 12, that is not necessarily surprising, although the craft scoped by Wright can scarcely be learnt from a text book.

You need to sit in a grandstand to truly understand just how far Nick Riewoldt runs, his dashes back and forth, the Saint’s long, weaving leads that leave defenders gasping.

A spot in front of the television, armed with a remote control that enables a rewind, highlights how Kurt Tippett uses his brute strength. Wright took notes from Brad Ottens, the Geelong premiership champion who became a mentor during his stint at the Australian Institute of Sport, on the merits of developing as both a forward and a ruckman.

It is a Masters degree in forward play, with his new club the Gold Coast Suns hoping that Wright can emulate the deeds of the aforementioned trio after selecting him in last night’s AFL National Draft on the Gold Coast at No 8 overall.

“The clubs tell you to go out and watch as much footy as you can,” Wright told The Australian.

“I have watched a bit of Kurt Tippett, more on TV, because he is a similar frame and some of my strengths

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are his strengths as well, just in regards to the marking, and he is a good kick for goal as well.

“Though I see myself more as a higher forward, I would like to watch a lot more of Nick Riewoldt, more than anything, because the way he moves up and down the ground is amazing.

“I just try to get to as many contests as I can and that is something he does really well, just getting so much footy through the wings.”

The trick is to put the theory learned over his junior career into practice.

In that regard, he has taken note of Joe Daniher, the emerging Essendon star who played 21 games in 2014.

They boast similarities in both build and background, with Wright also hailing from the Calder Cannons.

By virtue of his height, Wright has been dubbed “two-metre Peter”. The 203cm forward kicked 32 goals in 13 games at TAC Cup level and performed well for Vic Metro in the national under-18 carnival. A teammate for Vic Metro, Liam Duggan, yesterday said that despite his height, Wright was blessed to “move like a midfielder”.

The comparisons with Daniher are obvious, although Wright stresses he still has much ahead of him to reach the level attained by the Bomber.

“It is flattering to be seen in the same echelon as Joe Daniher, or even be around him, because he is a star of the game already,” Wright said. “But it is also daunting. I still think I have a long way to go to get to where he is. I do watch him play and try to model what I do a fair bit on him but just the way he moves is what I try to emulate. The way he moves around the ground is really good.

“I think I can do some of the things he does but I still have a long way to go. He has three years on me.”

A third generation Collingwood fan, Wright is keen to throw himself into football.

Having starred all season with Calder, he missed the club’s TAC Cup premiership after injuring his knee in the preliminary final.

“I missed the grand final, which is devastating, but I could have been missing next year’s grand final, so in the scheme of things I got off pretty lightly,” he said.

“I was disappointed but just tried to get around the boys as much as possible. But then walking out behind the team, after having the whole year with them, and not being able to go out and try and do something, was shattering.”