They call him Flash, and whilst he is known for playing on the wing, a plan has arisen by Panthers coach Matthew Elliott to play Gordon in the halves, to add to his attacking flair.

Gordon, who played quite a bit of fullback for the Panthers in light of Lachlan Coote’s injury, will not be in that position in 2011 with Coote returning, but there are some other surprises in store for both Gordon, and Panthers fans.

”The challenge for us is, with the form that Flash [Gordon] showed us last year, regardless of the position he plays, we need to get that level of involvement out of him,” Elliott said.

”It is a good headache to have.

”Having Flash on the wing allows us enough flexibility to show up in different spots.

”Lachlan Coote has the ability to play in the halves and I think Michael Gordon has got that in him as well.

”I don’t think I’d play [Gordon] there at the start of games at this stage but he could certainly spend some time there.

”Wests Tigers did it a little bit with [utility Daniel] Fitzhenry.

”We certainly need to increase his involvement. We could look at him being a centre but we don’t get enough involvement out of him in the centres.

”Flash played a fair bit of hooker when he was a young bloke as well, so there’s a fair bit of stuff going through our heads.

”Certainly we don’t want to see him play a conventional winger’s role. It’s about getting that fullback play out of him regardless of where he plays.”

Despite whatever number the Origin winger may have on his back, Elliott has insisted that Gordon can get as involved with the play as he feels, in order to create opportunities for his team.

”Nathan Blacklock did it better than anyone else I’ve seen,” Elliott said of the former Dragon.

”He did it naturally. He played on the wing and then he’d pop up and play like a fullback or spend his whole time at the ball or an inside half.

”I don’t want Flash playing like Nathan Blacklock – I want Flash playing like Flash. But that sort of commission is what we want to give him an opportunity to do.”

For Gordon, many have always seen him as a solid winger and an ever-reliable goal-kicker, but since his move to fullback, and his Origin berth, his game has gone to another level, and the only way is up.

”What Michael needed was confirmation that he was a good player,” Elliott said.

”It’s OK for me to say ‘You’re good enough to be a rep player’ and that’s nice to hear.

”But he went and played at that level and realised he is a good player and that he belongs at that level. It’s given him a lot of confidence.”

By ricky

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