Ben the next midfield bull?

Ben Ainsworth is primed for a big season. Picture: Getty Images
Ben Ainsworth is primed for a big season. Picture: Getty Images

A DRIVE to lift the Suns off the foot of the AFL ladder has Ben Ainsworth looking to become Gold Coast's next major midfield weapon.

Ainsworth has spoken with Suns coach Stuart Dew about playing a more predominant role in the midfield throughout 2019 and believes he has the fitness to do it after a strong preseason ahead of his third year at the top level.

The 20-year-old, taken with pick four in the 2016 draft, announced himself as classy forward with a thirst to win his own ball in the early stages of his career.

Ainsworth said he wants to now mirror the likes of Essendon's Devon Smith and take his game across various positions after experimenting at midfield and win during recent match simulations.

"I'm starting to find myself in the midfield structure and starting to look to play a fair few minutes in there," Ainsworth said.

"I've been chatting with Dewy a fair bit about the balance of playing both roles and when I do go into the midfield what is going to be expected of me. I think my improved tank will help with that.

"I want to progress into an almost full-time midfielder. I look up to the likes of Devon Smith who plays a variety of roles in terms of on the wing, midfield and forward and also (GWS player) Toby Greene with his forward craft.

Ben Ainsworth on the training paddock. Picture: Jerad Williams
Ben Ainsworth on the training paddock. Picture: Jerad Williams

"For me to go forward it's just a matter of practising my craft in the midfield and also having that x-factor at forward.

"It comes from a hunger to be in the midfield and a drive to take the club forward because no one likes where we are at the moment.

"I'm not sure what the split will be in terms of playing minutes in each position, we are still playing some match simulations.

"I've been playing on the wing a fair bit. I'm not sure where I'll tie in but wherever the team needs me to play I'll be capable of playing there."

News Corp Australia


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