Shai Bolton is going from strength to strength in his new midfield role within Richmond’s line-up.
The silky-skilled, speedy, young Tiger again was one of the team’s best, in last night’s 41-point win against the Western Bulldogs at Metricon Stadium.
He finished the match with an equal-season high 19 disposals, equal-career high seven inside-50s, four clearances, four marks, three intercepts, seven score involvements and 437 metres gained.
It was the third game in-a-row that he has had 19 touches and, throughout that time, he’s also averaging 475.6 metres gained, highlighting his running ability.
Richmond coach Damien Hardwick spoke about Bolton’s impressively smooth transition from small forward to midfielder during his post-match press conference last night.
“He’s probably one of those players we’ve always thought he could be a midfielder,” Hardwick said.
“(Fremantle’s) Michael Walters took a little bit of time to forge his way in the midfield and Shai’s a little bit the same.
“It’s a different fitness level playing as that high forward as compared to midfield. There’s going to be more scrimmages and all those sorts of things.
“He had a great off-season, but, once again, it’s opportunity. Someone goes down injured and Shai grabs it.
“He’s an exciting talent, he’s starting to really understand what’s required to be an AFL midfielder, and he’s only going to get better as he plays more.
“He’s got a bit of work to do, as most of our players do, but he’s been very good.”