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Stephen Hill may move back to help Dockers move forward

Alex Malcolm  January 31, 2016 10:00 AM

AFL 2015 Rd 17 - Richmond v Fremantle

Stephen Hill says he's happy to play back or in the midfield this season

It's just making sure I can defend as well as attack

STEPHEN Hill expects to spend some time in the backline again in 2016 as the Dockers look to improve their rebound and transition from defence to attack.

The Dockers ranked 14th in the competition last year for turning rebound 50s into inside 50s, converting just 19.5 per cent.

Fremantle coach Ross Lyon used Hill behind the ball at times last year to good effect, improving the Dockers' transition.

Hill said he expected to play a mixture of midfield and defence this year after spending time training with both lines during the pre-season.

"I think it will probably be the same or similar to last year," Hill told AFL.com.au.

"I'll play midfield and at times go back.

"I've played a little bit of defence - I feel pretty comfortable playing down there. It's just making sure I can defend as well as attack. Just having a few strings to my bow helps."

The Dockers have made no secret of the fact they have been focusing on improving their skill level this summer. Hill said the players had been working on hitting targets under pressure.

"We have been working on our kicking skills because you've got to be elite with your disposal in the AFL," Hill said.

"It's just getting more kicks in and being able to hit targets in different situations, like when to go quick and when to hold up. You've got to be able to hit the kicks under pressure.

"We've being doing kicks under pressure and a whole lot of different kicking drills."

Hill said he felt confident about his preparation for the upcoming season, having not missed a session all summer.

He said he would like to play as much of the NAB Challenge as possible but also said those decisions were out of his hands.

"That's up to Ross (Lyon) and the conditioning guys," Hill said.

"But I'm ready to play more games if needed. I'm fit and ready to go.

"To be honest it doesn't really worry me (how much I play).

"If I get a bit more game time it probably helps. Match fitness is different to running around at training. So it's always good to get that extra match time."         

The Dockers play all three NAB Challenge games in Western Australia. Their first pre-season game is on February 19 against Richmond in Mandurah, before facing Adelaide on February 28 in Mount Barker. The Dockers round out their pre-season against Geelong at Domain Stadium on March 12.