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Coaches’ Corner: Brandon Ellis

Coaches' Corner: Brandon Ellis In this week's edition of Coaches' Corner, Matthew Richardson and Assistant Coach, Ryan Ferguson, discuss Brandon Ellis' 2018 form.

Richmond development coach Ryan Ferguson provides ‘Roar Vision’ with an insight into how Tiger premiership defender Brandon Ellis has been performing at VFL level in recent weeks. 

Challenge of going back to VFL level

“He’s been brilliant. I think he realised pretty quickly, and he’s seen ‘Milesy’ (Anthony Miles) and a few other guys do it . . . go back to the VFL and just embrace it. It’s the best way to get back to where you want to be. He’s helped the younger VFL guys and he’s been great for our culture.”

Why he was omitted from the senior side

“A lot of it’s just the squeeze came . . . Jayden Short stepped up, and then ‘Broady’ (Nathan Broad) came back in. He wasn’t playing bad footy . . . but the squeeze came and there were seven spots and eight guys in the mix. So he was the one that got squeezed out. You can always work on your game, and if you want to get back in, you’ve got to get better. So he’s gone back to the VFL and is working really hard.”

What he does well when he’s in good form

“His starting position’s really strong . . . When he’s playing really good footy, he’s strong over the ball, strong in the contest, and then he runs and guns. He’s a link player and then is able to get involved on offense.”

His leadership qualities

“He’s been outstanding with that. His first game back (at VFL level) . . . I don’t think we ever doubted it, but he was sensational. He really bought into it. He was carry-over for the AFL game against the Kangaroos, got back into the team meeting, and just wanted to get out to sing the song with the VFL guys . . . They embraced him and he embraced it.”

What he needs to do to return to the seniors

“Another thing that’s going to be important to his game is flexibility. I know he’s played wing in the past, but reacquainting him with that role, so he can play half-back, can play wing. Give him a bit more flexibility for himself and for our team. And then, hopefully, he can get back to his really strong starting points – strong over the footy, run-and-carry. Hopefully he can get back in the team that way . . . The good thing about ‘Brando’ is, when he gets back in, he’s going to be ready to go and he’s going to be a better player.”