Ed Langdon leading the way in footy’s most misunderstood role

NO ROLE has modified extra in a technology than that of a wingman.

The place as soon as gamers like Doug Hawkins and Peter Matera have been idolised, these days the sport’s finest wingmen usually go unnoticed. It’s arguably soccer’s most misunderstood and unsexy place. And but, internally, it’s nonetheless heralded as one of the vital.

Today, golf equipment consider the best afternoon for a wingman is to be probably the most disciplined participant on the sector. Key tasks embrace transitioning up and down the bottom, serving to your backline and protecting shops inside 50.

Whereas some supporters could have a look at a 10-disposal sport from a wingman and instantly suppose they’ve been ineffective and have struggled to seek out the ball, internally these video games are sometimes deemed worthy of recognition and finest and fairest votes.

Peter Matera kicks the ball throughout West Coast’s conflict with Geelong within the 1992 Grand Closing. Image: AFL Pictures

Golf equipment consider that exterior assessments of their wingers are sometimes inconceivable, such are the unexpected roles they play away from the ball. Additionally they usually suppose {that a} profitable wingman is outlined by how stringently they play their position, relatively than the rest.

Melbourne is regarded by rival golf equipment because the crew that finest exemplifies this self-discipline, with Ed Langdon – who has performed practically 100 per cent sport time this season, all on a wing – seen as being the prime instance of a contemporary wingman.

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His elite cardio capability permits him to transition strongly up and down the bottom, finishing all of his defensive duties, whereas concurrently he has received his personal footy this season and averages 24.8 disposals, 427m gained and practically a purpose per sport.

Melbourne’s half-forwards, although, additionally play a vital position in aiding Langdon. A participant like Charlie Spargo allows him to transition defensively by utilizing his personal tank to get excessive up the sector and maintain the width on one facet of the bottom.

Isaac Smith leads the best way at Geelong with greater than 67 per cent of his time spent on the wing. Image: AFL Pictures

Rival golf equipment consider for this reason the Demons have quickly change into one of many sport’s finest defensive groups, as a result of their effort and cohesion each individually and collectively, evidenced on the weekend after they held the Energy to only one purpose in three quarters.

“I think when we look at any role, whether it be Ed’s role or not, we want them to master that role and become great players within that role,” Melbourne coach Simon Goodwin mentioned of Langdon’s current performances this week.

“I have a look at Ed Langdon and I see him being among the finest wingmen within the competitors. His workrate, his capacity to only execute properly and his steadiness round contest areas and structurally may be very sound.

“Some days he’ll have possession based on the type of game it is, other days he won’t, but he’ll still just execute well to help us in our transition game. He’s a fantastic asset and he’s one of the best wingmen in the game.”

Melbourne focused Langdon for a particular position when it introduced him to the membership from Fremantle on the finish of 2019. Whereas it wasn’t a headline signing on the time, it may now be thought to be one of many shrewdest current items of commerce enterprise.

It may also be the commerce that leads the soccer public to rethink the way it values a wingman.


Adelaide: Lachie Sholl (95.6%), Brayden Prepare dinner (58.0%)
Brisbane: Harry Sharp (100.0%), Mitch Robinson (94.0%)
Carlton: Will Setterfield (98.6%), Lochie O’Brien (87.6%)
Collingwood: Steele Sidebottom (95.5%), Josh Daicos (94.9%)
Essendon: Nik Cox (80.0%), Tom Cutler (73.7%)
Fremantle: Blake Acres (87.5%), Nathan O’Driscoll (69.1%)
Geelong: Isaac Smith (67.1%), Max Holmes (53.6%)
Gold Coast: Jeremy Sharp (96.7%), Rory Atkins (91.5%)
GWS Giants: Xavier O’Halloran (90.5%), Lachie Ash (38.5%)
Hawthorn: Tom Phillips (89.5%), Dan Howe (82.5%)
Melbourne: Ed Langdon (99.8%), James Jordon (92.4%)
North Melbourne: Jared Polec (93.5%), Tom Powell (56.1%)
Port Adelaide: Dan Houston (71.9%), Xavier Duursma (53.7%)
Richmond: Kamdyn McIntosh (97.8%), Marlion Pickett (96.8%)
St Kilda: Nasiah Wanganeen-Milera (97.2%), Dan McKenzie (74.3%)
Sydney: Dylan Stephens (98.0%), Justin McInerney (89.0%)
West Coast: Pat Naish (95.2%), Jackson Nelson (76.2%)
Western Bulldogs: Roarke Smith (88.3%), Lachie Hunter (78.1%)
* Minimal 2 video games

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