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Lockett's low-key approach

Luke McManus  March 16, 2017 4:16 PM

Lockett on coaching return Tony Lockett speaks with SwansTV about his new role with the Club.
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Tony Lockett closely analyses Sam Reid's goal-kicking action on his first day as part-time forwards coach.

If we can improve just a little bit, that’s all we’re after.

A little can go a long way.

That’s the approach Tony Lockett is taking as the champion full-forward settles into his new role as part-time goal-kicking coach at the Sydney Swans.

Lockett, the competition’s greatest goal scorer, will attend training once a fortnight to assist in the development of not only the Swans’ bevy of key forwards but the next wave of goal-kickers coming through the ranks.

With 1360 goals to his name (an average of more than four goals per game) and a glowing list of accolades, Lockett has a wealth of experience which he’s keen to impart on the playing group.

But for all the knowledge the AFL and Sydney Swans Hall of Famer possesses, there will be no sweeping changes by the newest addition to the coaching panel.

“I’m looking forward to the challenge,” he said at Tuesday night’s Hall of Fame Induction and Guernsey Presentation.

“I just hope I can pass on some knowledge and, hopefully, a few of the boys can benefit from it.

“If we can improve just a little bit, that’s all we’re after.

“If they’re are willing to work hard and put the effort in, which they all are, we’re going to get some good results.”

Lockett will be working with potentially one of the league’s most potent forward lines in Lance Franklin, Sam Reid and Kurt Tippett.

Tippett has been earmarked to spend more time forward in light of Sam Naismith and Callum Sinclair's fitness, while Reid is emerging from a trouble-free pre-season which should set the 25-year-old up for a big season across centre-half forward.

And under Lockett’s tutelage, many including great Jude Bolton believes even the established Franklin can improve.

As much as the potential Buddy-Plugger partnership will get supporters’ tails wagging, it’s the team’s emerging forwards which Lockett is excited to working with the most.

“Lance is a superstar, he can work it out for himself, I mean, he’s got the score on the board,” Lockett said.

“It’s not only the established players, I look forward to working with the younger blokes too, the ones who may have five, six, seven, eight, or ten years ahead of them.

“If you can get them early and help them out, that should work out good for everyone.”

It is Lockett’s first role at an AFL club, in any capacity, since retiring from playing in 2002.

The move has attracted nation-wide attention, not only the fact he’s back at clubland but his new trim frame which is a far cry from the 115-kilo build he used to carry during his 17 years as a premier full-forward.

Despite the commentary, the man widely known as Plugger plans to keep his return as low key as possible.

“I played footy all my life. I got away, did what I needed to do, time away from footy, but I always kept in touch a little bit,” he added.

“It’s not a full-time job or anything like that…it’s pretty low key and casual but that suits me pretty good.”