AAP AFL

Dockers to throw Jesse Hogan into defence

By AAP Newswire

High-profile Fremantle forward Jesse Hogan will be turned into a defender as the Dockers attempt to plug some sizeable holes down back.

Hogan was lured to the Dockers at the end of 2018 with hopes he would become the club's next great forward.

A second major foot injury last year and battles with mental health meant the Dockers are yet to see the best of Hogan, who has booted just 13 goals in 15 games for them.

The former Demon hasn't played since injuring his calf in round five and he has been training as a defender in recent weeks.

Coach Justin Longmuir knows it's a risk playing Hogan in defence but it's one he feels the club needs to take given Alex Pearce, Joel Hamling and probably Griffin Logue won't be seen again in 2020.

"We're undersized in our backline," Longmuir said.

"He wants to do it, he's put his hand up to do it. How long that takes to upskill him to play in our backline - we'll have to wait and see.

"But he's had some minutes in the reserves today and executed some stuff pretty well, so we'll look at that.

"It's going to be a little bit of a risk because we're not going to get a lot of opportunity to play against another opposition in an 18 on 18 format.

"So we have to be creative with the way we educate him, with the way we give him opportunities to train as a back. And at some stage we're just going to have to throw him in."

Longmuir doesn't see Hogan as a long-term fixture in defence but says circumstances mean it could be the best fit for him in 2020.

Hogan is an outside chance to play against Carlton next Saturday, while fit-again veteran Michael Walters is set to replace Travis Colyer (hamstring).

Meanwhile, forward Rory Lobb is set for some extra goalkicking practice at training following the worrying deterioration of his twinkle-toe run-up in recent weeks.

Lobb's one and only shot in Monday's 16-point win over Hawthorn sailed out on the full after his stuttering run-up got him noticeably off balance.

"He's working really hard to limit how much he does stutter in front of goals," Longmuir said.

"Unfortunately for him it's coming back on game day. It's not there during the week. Under pressure it comes back.

"We've got a bit work to do with it because it does force him to kick across his body."