IN 2012, Greater Western Sydney midfielder Toby Greene was nothing short of a revelation.

At the tender age of 18, he averaged 28.4 possessions over 20 games, which was good enough for eighth overall in the AFL.

That put him ahead of some of the game's biggest names including Patrick Dangerfield, Trent Cotchin and Brett Deledio.

But it is a performance the youngster admits he has struggled to back up.

Not surprisingly after such a strong rookie campaign, Greene found himself under a lot more scrutiny to start his second year.

He managed 30 or more possessions nine times last year, including in eight of his final nine appearances, but he is yet to reach that figure in 2013.

The GWS coaching staff eventually decided a change needed to be made, shifting Greene into the backline to take on some tagging roles and work on his defensive skills.

It has been a big adjustment.

"No one really knew anything about me last year," Greene told

"This year they know my strengths and weaknesses, so I had to learn something different and I had to adapt.

"I was losing the team structure and wasn't sure what I was supposed to do when I had someone close-checking me.

"It was probably more a mental thing and now after talking to all the coaching staff and knowing what to do, I feel like I’ve learned from that.

"I've been playing in the backline and learning how to play on some pretty good small forwards.

"I'm enjoying it."

Hawthorn's Luke Breust, Port Adelaide tyro Chad Wingard, Carlton small forward Jeff Garlett and North Melbourne veteran Brent Harvey are some of the opponents Greene has been handed during this stretch.

Coach Kevin Sheedy views it as an important learning curve for one of the club's brightest young prospects.

"We've got to teach these young players who are coming through, who have probably never been in a defensive tagging role at any stage," Sheedy said.

"In the last quarter (against North Melbourne last week), 'Greeney' had a shot at goal which got touched going through.

"While he's still disappointed in that, Harvey's collected two possessions very quickly on the rebound kick in.

"They're the sorts of things where you've got to re-focus and improve your concentration skills when you're playing on a 345, 350-game player.

"It's a big task."

Greene is averaging 22.4 touches through 12 games this season and he appears to be adjusting to his new role.

That number has swelled to 26.3 possessions over his past four games, while he added a career-high 12 marks against the Kangaroos.

See Toby Greene's position in the Official AFL Player Ratings

Now, like all of his Giants teammates, Greene is focusing in on some wins over the back half of the year.

"The coaches put things in place so that I didn't lose my focus and that's definitely worked," he said.

"I didn't play in the backline at all last year and I'm just trying to beat my man.

"We've all developed in certain areas, but it all comes down to how many wins we've had and at the moment we haven't got one.

"That's what we're looking for in the second half of the year."

James Dampney is a reporter for AFL Media. Follow him on Twitter @AFL_JD