Speedster Zac Williams is hoping the emergence of some talented AFL youngsters can help him secure a more regular role in the star-studded GWS midfield.
While he has established himself as one of the AFL’s most dynamic half-back flankers, Williams has also shone when pressed into forward and midfield roles.
He demonstrated his on-ball prowess in arguably his finest game for the club in last year’s preliminary final against Collingwood.
Williams racked up a career-best 16 contested possessions and matched his career-best 10 clearances in a mighty effort.
While GWS will have midfield scrappers Stephen Coniglio and Callan Ward available when the competition resumes next week, after the duo missed large chunks of last season, they will be without injured reigning best and fairest and on-ball bull Tim Taranto.
Williams missed the round one win over Geelong with achilles soreness and young defender Isaac Cumming’s fine pre-season form was rewarded with a game.
With pacy teenager and first-round draft pick Lachie Ash also pushing for a senior spot, 25-year-old Williams thinks that might present opportunities for him to spend more time on the ball.
“There’s a few young boys coming up which means hopefully I can sort of put my hand up to be around the footy a bit more,” Williams told AAP.
“I love being around the action floating around in the midfield where the footy is.
“I might be tossed around again which I don’t mind.
“I like playing in all different types of positions throughout the game, or if I get a certain role I don’t mind the flexibility that I can bring to the team.”
Williams, who is yet to commit to GWS beyond this season, had arguably his best campaign in 2019, but insists he can still improve.
“I can still work on being consistent and being a reliable sort of top-tier player like a Tim Taranto,” he said.
“He played pretty much every game last year and I don’t remember him having a bad game.
“If I can take my game to that level then it’s only better for the team and better for myself.”
Williams is fully fit and ready to go for the round two home clash with North Melbourne on June 14.