Fresh from a breakthrough season Sydney Swans ruckman Sam Naismith has his sights set on becoming the number one ruckman.
The Swans ruck stocks run deep with Kurt Tippett, Callum Sinclair and Toby Nankervis all vying for a position in the ruck.
It took the 206cm big man a while to solidify his position in the senior side but Naismith didn’t miss a match once given his opportunity in Round 16 against Geelong.
Naismith has strong plans for 2017 to maximise his best season of football since being recruited to the Club in the 2013 rookie draft.
“The number one ruck spot is hot for the taking and there is going to be a few boys contesting for that,” Naismith said.
“In the long run it is going to be great for the Club because we are all going to be really competitive.
“I am sure when pre-season comes around we are all going to be ready to go and we are going to be fit.”
Naismith was among the Swans best performers on a disappointing Grand Final loss to the Western Bulldogs.
The 24-year-old is adamant the recent finals series, albeit disappointing, will be a strong platform to propel his career.
“Coming into the team halfway through the year and holding my spot then playing in a Grand Final was pretty special for me,” he said.
“The hardness and speed of a finals series was another level up from regular football.
“To come into the team and play alongside players that are playing that hard footy it really drives you.”
Already locked into the red and white until the end of the 2018 season the emerging ruckman is excited about what the next few seasons could hold.
“I needed to get on top of injuries, I needed to play consistent footy week in and week out and I thought I was able to do that this year,” he said.
“To be able to play in the seniors was a great learning experience for me and it is going to be great for my career over the next few years.”