The West

Gaff seeks advice to recapture top form
Andrew Gaff. Pic: Getty Images

Frustrated West Coast wingman Andrew Gaff has turned to Norm Smith medallist Andrew Embley in a bid to snap a form slump impacting his 2013 season.

Gaff enjoyed a fantastic 2012, becoming one of the team's key midfielders and finishing fifth in the club's best-and-fairest award.

But rival sides have clamped down on him this season. He has been restricted to 23 possessions in the past two games and touched the ball just 10 times against St Kilda.

Only Adam Selwood, Josh Hill, Ashton Hams and Jamie Cripps had fewer disposals.

A ball magnet during his junior career, the 20-year-old has fallen from having the third-highest average possessions at the club last year to ninth this season. He said it had been difficult adjusting to close attention from opponents.

"It's pretty tough at the moment but these things happen in footy," Gaff said.

"I have some good weeks, I have some bad weeks, good months, bad months. You work your way through troughs. I'm struggling to get a few kicks at the moment.

"Hopefully, it can turn around soon … I've got a few things to work on.

"Most of the year I've had blokes who are fairly tight on me. It's just a part of footy. I've got to get better and get over these things."

Keen for his form to improve after West Coast's bye this weekend, Gaff has been receiving advice from Embley and assistant coach Scott Burns.

"Obviously, Embley plays on the wing similar to myself. He's been tagged a lot in the past so has given me a few tips," Gaff said.

"Burnsy is the midfield coach so he tries to help me out. Also the other midfielders, they give me a chop out every now and then, which is good."

Gaff has had 20 possessions or more only four times this year - all against teams outside the top eight - Melbourne, Port Adelaide, North Melbourne and Greater Western Sydney. Last season he had at least 20 disposals in 20 of his 24 matches.

Teams have restricted his marking and uncontested possessions.

Coach John Worsfold has moved Gaff to half-forward at times, and his goal assists have almost doubled.

But his lack of defensive work while not winning the ball has been a concern.

He has failed to lay a tackle in four of his last five games.

The West Australian

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