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  1. #1
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    Forward focus fine for Wallis

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    Mitch Wallis is the Bulldogs' joint leading goal-kicker through the opening seven rounds of the 2020 AFL Premiership season.




    At the start of 2020, a three-pronged tall forward set-up looked to be a real possibility for the Western Bulldogs.

    One man that snuck under the radar was Mitch Wallis.

    And perhaps somewhat surprisingly, he’s the Bulldogs’ joint leading goal-kicker – alongside one of those tall forwards, recruit Josh Bruce – after seven rounds.

    The Bulldogs’ forward line has taken on a number of different looks already in 2020.

    Aaron Naughton and Sam Lloyd, the two leading goal-kickers, have missed large chunks through injury. Laitham Vandermeer has made the most of his opportunities since a round two debut. Josh Schache has had an opportunity, so to Rhylee West and last week’s debutant, Cody Weightman.

    Wallis, one of the Bulldogs’ leaders, has been a constant and important presence.

    He’s missed a lot of footy in recent years – playing just 47 of a possible 83 games, since a serious leg injury in 2016.

    But he’s now benefitting from a sustained run and a settled role, transitioning from an inside midfielder to a crafty goal-kicker who is strong overhead and hard at the ball.

    “Having a clear focus of being a forward has helped,” Wallis told Fox Footy this week.

    “I’ve been spending a lot of time with Ash Hansen, our forwards coach, just working on intricate little details of forward craft and that’s really helped me.

    “I feel like I’m an important pillar of our forward line at the moment in how we’re structured up.”

    His ability to convert has been paramount.

    Wallis snagged three goals straight against Essendon in Friday night’s important win.

    That leaves him with an accurate 9.2 for the season, with goals in every game bar one.

    “It’s about making the most of your opportunities,” Wallis said.

    “Forward lines these days aren’t touching the ball that often, if you get a dozen touches you’re actually having a good impact on the game.

    “I’ve been lucky enough to hit the scoreboard on occasions.”
    Premierships: AFL 1954, 2016 VFA - 1898,99,1900, 1908, 1913, 1919-20, 1923-24, VFL: 2014, 2016 . Champions of Victoria 1924. AFLW - 2018.

  2. #2
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    Re: Forward focus fine for Wallis

    Wally has been great up forward. And all credit to him for accepting a different role in the side. He was a beast inside midfielder in his junior days but the transition to AFL didn't work as hoped as his skills and lack of pace were found out. Also the fact we are stacked for midfielders and light on for forwards has meant turning him into a medium forward was important both for him and the team as it's our area of weakness but also means he's more likely to get consistent games. The same is happening to West at the moment. Mitch is a smart footballer and now seems to be adding goalkicking nous to his craft. His accuracy is very much needed in our side. Let's hope is upward trajectory continues.

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  4. #3
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    Re: Forward focus fine for Wallis

    Everything done by thus guy is pure class from a positive clubman through to one on one contests to goal kicking. If anyone could succeed in a role change its Mitch. Consumate professional you need these 'sets high standards' guys at your club. Also think he's been an excellent mentor to Weightnan.
    Josh Schache >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>Jake Stringer

  5. #4
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    Re: Forward focus fine for Wallis

    I'm guilty of focusing on what he can't do rather than what he can, but I can't deny that he's doing exactly what's asked of him.

    He treats each set shot like gold, never waivers from his technique and the results prove themselves. Within 30-40m, there's no one else I'd rather have the ball besides Tory Dickson.
    Our 1954 premiership players are our heroes, and it has to be said that Charlie was their hero.

  6. #5
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    Re: Forward focus fine for Wallis

    Hits the scoreboard for us
    Great one on one mark also

  7. #6
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    Re: Forward focus fine for Wallis

    I think people forget how good in close he was with his hands, and his ability to play a slightly more defencive role. Unfortunately he was never able to get enough of the footy to justify his lack of pace.

    It's a credit to him that he's been able to transition to a valuable forward who takes his chances.

  8. #7
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    Re: Forward focus fine for Wallis

    A great person and leader of men is our Wally. Gee I hope he gets that flag he so cruelly missed out on.
    www.bulldogtragician.com A blog about being a lifelong fan of the Dogs and our quixotic attempt to replicate 1954. AND WE DID
    Author of "The Mighty West: the Bulldogs journey from daydream believers to premiership heroes"
    Twitter @bulldogstragic

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  10. #8
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    Re: Forward focus fine for Wallis

    Quote Originally Posted by The bulldog tragician View Post
    A great person and leader of men is our Wally. Gee I hope he gets that flag he so cruelly missed out on.
    Caught up with him at the Prelim when he stopped to talk to us. Felt so sorry for him at the time, but he was pumped for the boys.
    Premierships: AFL 1954, 2016 VFA - 1898,99,1900, 1908, 1913, 1919-20, 1923-24, VFL: 2014, 2016 . Champions of Victoria 1924. AFLW - 2018.

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  12. #9
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    Re: Forward focus fine for Wallis

    He's a reliable forward and almost has a talent for getting punched in the gut by the football. He's probably the only forward in our best 22 that I'm confident with ball in hand.

  13. #10
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    Re: Forward focus fine for Wallis

    Wallis would be a starting midfielder in some sides that's how good he is inside and having him play forward with his skill set, then bringing the goalkicking and footy smarts along with him gives me alot of confidence when he is involved in the play in our forward half. We are lucky to have such a great player and professional play for us. Role change? Like it was nothing for him and has improved our forward line no doubt from day one.
    I feel sorry for people who don't drink. When they wake up in the morning, that's as good as they're going to feel all day.

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  15. #11
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    Re: Forward focus fine for Wallis

    Another good game from Mitch against the Suns, such a consistent season from him this year.
    The good news is I'm not going to Hell
    Turns out the Devil has taken out a restraining order.

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