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Building his Brand

hawthornfc.com.au  July 17, 2017 3:19 PM

R17: Kaiden Brand Post Match Defender Kaiden Brand found himself manning up on Dangerfield after the Cats midfielder was rested in the forward line, he spoke with HawksTV following the narrow loss.

Playing just his 22nd AFL game, Kaiden Brand wouldn’t have expected to be lining up against reigning Brownlow Medallist Patrick Dangerfield when the Hawks met the Cats on Saturday.

However, after sustaining a knock to the leg early in the match, Dangerfield planted himself at full forward next to Brand, presenting the young defender with his biggest task to date.

The Cat was potent in front of goal all afternoon, finishing with an impressive 5.6. 

But, chalking the day up to a good learning experience, Brand remained upbeat after the match, saying the boys would “lick [their] wounds, and come back next week”.

“I certainly wasn’t prepared for that,” Brand said of Dangerfield’s shift to the forward line.

“He got on top of us a few times and we just had to reassess and reset the way we played, we changed things up in the last quarter and we were able to get back into the game.

Read: Talking points from Hawthorn v Geelong

“We’ll [learn] some things from that and move on.” 

The 23-year-old has played 11 games this season, adding to his 11 from 2016. He has made consistent improvement, upping his disposal average from 12.9 (2016) to 15.9 (2017) at a solid 81 per cent efficiency. 

Though the young defender has been in a lock in at full back since James Frawley was sidelined with injury in Round 8, he did find himself venturing up the ground in a patch of unfamiliar play on the weekend. 

“I looked up and saw a bit of space which I don’t usually see, so I just tried to take it on a little bit,” Brand laughed, after selling candy to a Geelong forward and going for a run and bounce through the corridor.

“But I will probably stick to playing full back and let the other guys do that I guess.”