Suns to groom Hunt as defender - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Suns to groom Hunt as defender

By Darren Cartwright 11/08/2010 05:35:57 PM Comments (0)

The experimenting is over and the findings are conclusive - multi-million dollar Gold Coast rookie Karmichael Hunt will be groomed as a defender for his 2011 AFL debut.

Suns coach Guy McKenna has seen enough of the former Brisbane NRL star and will now fine-tune Hunt's defensive skills in the last two VFL matches starting with the clash against Werribee at Southport on Saturday.

Having watched Hunt rapidly mature as a defender, McKenna's thoughts were reinforced when he spoke with Melbourne's 133-game forward Brad Miller after the Suns played the Demons' feeder team Casey Scorpions last weekend.

"He gets blokes off the line of the ball, he has great closing speed and strength," McKenna told AAP.

"Brad Miller said after the game `he's a strong boy, I can't get past him'."

McKenna said it was important to make the call on Hunt's future now so he was given every opportunity to settle, focus and practise his skills under match conditions.

He said he wanted Hunt to return for the pre-season knowing where his future lies.

"We're in a position where we can do that so he's not in a development stage mentality for next year as such," McKenna said.

"You don't want to be wandering into the pre-season thinking `where is he going to be?'"

Hunt may only stand 185cm and is more likely to mind the third best opposition forward, but McKenna's convinced he can play against key forwards if necessary.

"If you asked me at the start of the year `would he play on Justin Koschitzke, Jonathan Brown and Brendan Fevola types' you'd probably think no as he's only 185cm," McKenna said.

"But given what I have been able to see he probably doesn't play 185, he probably plays a bit taller and because of his strength he may be able to get away with that.

"He's really quickly worked out the ability to sit off and time his run and jump at his opponent and that's what I have been really impressed with."

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