Playing consistent football will be Tom Derickx’s objective this season after coming off his most productive AFL season to date.
Derickx, who joined the Swans as a delisted free agent in 2013, played 12 matches in his first season at the club, before a hamstring injury saw him sidelined at the business end of the year.
With a full pre-season now under his belt, the 27-year-old ruckman is confident he can again have an impact in the red and white in 2015.
“I came back a month earlier than everyone else because I obviously missed a fair chunk of last season,” he said.
“I haven’t really missed a beat.
“I’ve had a couple of niggles but I’ve managed to get through most sessions.
“I’ve found it challenging, but really good.”
Derickx said after finding his feet in Sydney and at the club last season, he was confident in his ability to perform at AFL level.
But the 200-centimetre tall acknowledged with the likes of Mike Pyke, Sam Naismith and Toby Nankervis also vying for Swans’ selection, he would have to work hard to earn a senior berth.
“I know my strengths, I know my weaknesses – I’ve just got to build up on those strengths and work on those weaknesses,” he said.
“I come into this season a bit more confident playing 12 games last year.
“(It’s going to be) more challenging this year – we’ve got four other ruckmen who are fit.
“It’s going to be tough to get a spot – Tippo’s also firing.”
Derickx battles it out against Kurt Tippett at training.
Derickx said he had been working on adding another element to his game over the pre-season – being able to push forward and have an impact.
“I like to get forward a bit – I need to learn that role if I’m going to get in the side,” he said.
“Obviously we’ve got a lot of talls, and if you’re going to get in the team you’ve got to learn to have a few strings to your bow.”
Derickx said the competition for spots would only be a positive for the Swans and their ruck group, who are constantly looking to improve.
“It’s really competitive at the moment – it’s been good,” he said.
“Working with Pykey, he’s really experienced and he gives off a lot of knowledge.
“I’m the same now – I’m 27 years of age and I’m trying to help the young boys get a spot in the side as well.”
As well as making a name for himself on the field last year, Derickx also stood out off it, hosting a hilarious interview with Hollywood stars Megan Fox and Will Arnett.
He’s hoping to cross paths with another celebrity or two this year.
“They’re lining up I think to come have a chat,” Derickx said.
“Maybe Chris Rock, I think he’s coming to Australia soon.
“It’s a bit of fun outside of football.”