NEAFL Development Coach Zane Littlejohn said experimenting with players’ positioning on field this season will improve their game and give them a greater chance at securing a spot in the AFL team.

Sam Skinner has shifted from the backline to play as a forward; Jacob Allison has gone from the backline to the wing and Connor Ballenden has shifted from the forward line, to the back and on the weekend played in the ruck position.

“The more we can give our players opportunities and exposure to different positions, the better that makes them, the better that therefore makes us as a football Club,” Littlejohn told

He said Fagan refers to this as players’ adding tools to their kit.

The more versatile they are on field, the more attractive they are to be selected for the AFL team.

With Archie Smith playing his first AFL game in 2019 against Hawthorn, Ballenden stepped into the role of ruck.

“His start to the game was really, really impressive,” Littlejohn said.

“Not necessarily through his ruck and tap work but what he was able to do around the ground.

“His follow up work, his second and third efforts and just his attitude and the way he approached his new role.”

The NEAFL team will aim for a ninth straight victory when they meet the Gold Coast SUNS ON Saturday.