Tom Campbell’s craft up forward

TC goal

Tom Campbell had a hand in four Western Bulldogs goals against Sydney in round 19, but it was his delicate palm-down to veteran Daniel Giansiracusa that triggered something special.

While Giansiracusa has received the accolades for the finish, Campbell’s deft-touch, awareness and vision to set-up the show-stopping goal has not gone unnoticed internally.

“It hasn’t been undersold in here at all, it was just great finesse, great touch, great awareness of where Gia was and great placement,” Development Coach Ashley Hansen said.

“Probably only a ruckman could do that with the amount of touch work and tap work he does with [Assistant Coach] Steven King.”

Campbell demanded attention early, drilling two set-shots on goal within the opening five minutes.

The big man also fulfilled important roles structurally, both up forward and rotating into the ruck.

“Those two good marks in the first quarter where he finished off really well got his confidence up and going but also I think started to draw the Sydney defenders to him,” he said.

“He didn’t have a massive stats game, Tommy Campbell, but his impact structurally to give Will [Minson] a chop out in the ruck which was really needed… but also to provide that great contest and really provide a big beacon for our smalls to get to.”

While Campbell’s ruck work is his obvious strength, extended stints in the forward line for VFL-affiliate Williamstown this year has made him a more versatile and well-rounded prospect.

“He is getting into really dangerous spots where he deserves respect, because he will mark the ball,” he said.

“And his workrate, he has been working really diligently on his fitness and he has now got himself to AFL standard.

“He can cover the ground and really play [as] a forward for the majority of the day but then go into the ruck, which is a great asset for the Western Bulldogs to have going forward.”

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