IF Matthew Scarlett has his way, Jake Stringer will stay in the Western Bulldogs’ backline.
The champion Geelong full-back is a defensive coach with the Western Bulldogs and has been working closely with Stringer.
After making his name with the Bendigo Pioneers as a forward and midfielder, Stringer played as a power forward for his first 15 games at AFL level.
But the past three matches Stringer has been moved to defence.
“It’s been different for me, but I don’t mind it,’’ Stringer said in Bendigo on Tuesday.
“Matty Scarlett has been trying to get me down back for a quite a while… he reckons I’d make a good backman.
“We’ve been a bit short in defence, so that’s where I’ve been needed.
“It’s been a big challenge, but playing down back on some big experienced blokes will help me learn a few tricks for when I play forward as well.”
Stringer has played on James Podisadly, Paul Chapman, Jake Carlisle, Chris Dawes and James Frawley in the past three weeks.
He said working closely with Scarlett had improved his defensive game.
“I do my video edits with Matthew and then we’ll work on things out on the field,’’ Stringer said.
“He’s been awesome for me. I’m very lucky to have him helping me.
“Cam Mooney helps out the forwards and he’s been great for me as well.
“Cam wants me back in the forward line, but Scarlo reckons I’m better off down back.”
Stringer and team-mate Stewart Crameri were in Bendigo on Tuesday as part of the Bulldogs’ Community Day.
They visited primary schools and spoke at an AFL Central Victoria forum for teenagers who have dropped out of football in the past 12 months.
In his first season with the Bulldogs since crossing from Essendon, Crameri is coming off a four-goal performance in Saturday night's win over Melbourne.
"My form has been a bit up and down,'' the Maryborough product said.
"I'm really enjoying being part of the Bulldogs.
"The coaches and players have been great to me.
"Jake (Stringer) and I have our lockers next to each other, so we've been getting on really well."
Crameri is the number one ticket holder at his home club Maryborough and he returned to the club a fortnight ago to watch the Magpies play Strathfieldsaye.
"It was great to get back to my home club and get involved with the locals,'' he said.
"It was good to watch Maryborough play again.
"The club is on the right track and I reckon you'll seem them win a few games in the second of the year."