It has been at least six years since Anton Hamp last played in defence but he made such a good fist of his emergency call-up for Claremont on Saturday he may have a new career as a back man.
"He wouldn't be the first player to start as a forward then find the best thing for them is to move back," coach Michael Broadbridge admitted after the move helped Claremont hold off Peel by 28 points.
"I would like to claim it as a coaching masterstroke but the reality was that we had no other options.
"Trinity Handley and Brandon Franz both fell over last Monday and with Hampy struggling up forward because we haven't been able to get the ball to him, it made sense to push him back."
Hamp told Broadbridge during the week he had not played in defence since year 10 school football, but he adapted to the new role so well he negated Peel big men Kepler Bradley and Jack Hannath and restricted them to just one goal between them.
Opposed to a winless Thunder team that had 11 Fremantle players but is the also the youngest in the league with seven teenagers and another four 20-year-olds, Claremont's superior experience and midfield class proved the critical factors.
Making their first appearance for 2014 at Claremont Showground, their new home for at least the next two years, Claremont's on-ball brigade of Luke Blackwell, Ryan Neates, Tom Ledger, Sam Fong, Matt Orzel and Corey Yeo rallied so effectively the Tigers reached 100 points for the first time this season during their 15.12 (102) to 11.8 (74) win.
"It was the best game we have played this year and it was the closest to the process of how I want us to play," Broadbridge said.
"We made some big steps forward and if we keep rolling that out we will be in more games than we are not."
Peel may have gone in top-heavy in the greasy conditions on what, until recently, was literally a cow paddock, but they received effective service from talls Craig Moller (four goals), Matt Taberner (three) and aspiring Dockers ruckmen Jon Griffin and Hannath.
But apart from the classy Anthony Morabito, whose return to AFL action appears imminent and may only be prevented by his rough conduct report against Ledger, Jacob Ballard and the underdone Cruize Garlett, who started brilliantly before being blanketed by Yeo in the second half, Peel had few midfield winners.
Broadbridge singled out Fong, who had been sent back to the reserves for several weeks, but provided such an effective conduit forward from his wing that he won the club's Ralph Honner Medal as the player who most clearly embodied the Anzac spirit.
Fong had 17 effective disposals and kicked Claremont's first and last goals.