GEELONG defender Tom Stewart is confident the Cats’ backline is well-equipped to handle the introduction of the 6-6-6 starting positions.
From 2019, teams will be required to start six players inside their attacking and defensive 50m and six between the two arcs.
It is expected to result in more one-on-one contests, especially inside 50, and the All-Australian says it’s a style Geelong enjoys playing.
“We mould our game on that one-on-one style; win your one-on-ones and then when you get the opportunity to come off and help, that’s when you do that,” he said.
“I think it will hold us in pretty good stead because if you look at our back seven, we’re all quite strong one-on-one.
“I don’t think it will affect us that much.”
Stewart, who as an assistant coach of Geelong’s AFL Women’s team, was an observer at training for part of this week as part of a tailored program leading up to Christmas.
The 25-year-old says the chance to take a step back and watch what game style Geelong is putting in place for 2019 has been of benefit.
“And with the girls (role), it’s given me a better understanding of the game and how we’re trying to play,” Stewart said.
“So it’s been a really good teaching tool to understand what we’re trying to implement at training.”
Stewart’s involvement in the Cats’ AFLW program is a reflection of the esteem he is held in at GMHBA Stadium, with a spot in the leadership group likely in coming years.
But it’s not something the South Barwon product is overly concerning himself with.
“It would be a fantastic achievement to be recognised by my teammates in that regard,” Stewart said.
“But, I’m just trying to help as many players as I can. I like to talk, and I like to give feedback.
“So, whether that’s with a recognised role in the leadership group, I’m not going to change the way I go about it.
“I’m going to keep doing those things and keep bettering my teammates and challenging the people in the leadership group to have different thought processes.
“But also to put an arm around the young boys and try and drag them along and make them better.”