O'Keefe backs Goodes to rebound - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

O'Keefe backs Goodes to rebound

By Adrian Warren 30/06/2010 06:40:20 PM Comments (0)

Sydney stalwart Ryan O'Keefe has backed dual Brownlow medallist Adam Goodes to rebound from some indifferent form and play some brilliant football again this AFL season.

Goodes has been shifted from the midfield to a forward role in 2010, but hasn't produced his previously high level of consistent play.

The 30-year-old star had a particularly quiet night at the office against Collingwood last weekend, tallying an equal-season low of 13 possessions and a season worst three marks.

For the first time this season Goodes didn't register a single point in scoring, though his tally of 24 goals for the campaign is second only to injured full forward Daniel Bradshaw.

O'Keefe, who last year made the opposite move from the forward line to midfield, was optimistic Goodes would quickly return to top form starting with Richmond at the MCG this weekend.

"It's probably easier to go from forward to midfield than midfield to forward, because especially in today's play a lot of teams zone back," O'Keefe said.

"You have to be more an impact player as a forward. Adam is a class player, a top-line player, you don't win two Brownlow medals for nothing.

"You are going to see some brilliant footy from him to come.

"He has one down game and everyone is on his back, but he's a great player and he will bounce back for sure."

O'Keefe will play his 200th senior game on Sunday against the Tigers at the MCG.

O'Keefe developed into one of the code's most prominent half-forwards, but revealed he almost fell into that position by default.

"I always wanted to be a midfielder, I started juniors playing a bit of midfield and then I got here," O'Keefe said.

"I think half-forward was a position that was almost vacant and I said `I will have that one please', just to get myself into the team.

"I kept pushing my case to play in the midfield for a couple years and then finally last year they let me."

The 29-year-old Victorian, who at one stage sought a release to a Melbourne club, said his 200th game had "crept up" on him.

He said the Swans needed to win their next series of games against teams around them on the ladder, but also needed to register some victories against leading clubs.

"When teams are around similar points, you want to get a break on them and give you that opportunity to make the finals, these games are important to win just to put a bit of a gap," O'Keefe said.

"The games we should win we've got to win, but I think a key point for us is we've got to beat some good sides.

"Otherwise if we don't start beating good sides we'll just make up (the numbers in the) finals, if we get there."

He attributed Richmond's recent form surge to their growing confidence and stressed the Swans wouldn't be taking the Tigers lightly.

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