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Prelim pain to drive Smith at Bombers

Get excited: Devon Smith a Don The Bombers plan to use the former small forward in a midfield role
Devon Smith is officially a Bomber. Picture: essendonfc.com.au - AFL,Contracts,Free Agency,Trade,Essendon Bombers,Devon Smith
Devon Smith is officially a Bomber. Picture: essendonfc.com.au

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DEVON Smith plans to use his disappointment at missing Greater Western Sydney's preliminary final loss to Richmond to fuel the next chapter of his career at Essendon.

Smith is officially a Bomber for the next four years after the Giants accepted pick 11 at this year's NAB AFL Draft and a future third round selection, in exchange for the exciting forward, pick 23 in this year's draft, and a future second round selection.

He attended the Giants' best and fairest count last Friday where he said his farewells to his now former teammates.

A foundation Giant and at his best an important part of the team, Smith has struggled with knee problems over the past two seasons, playing just 30 games in that time.

 

Smith missed five games mid-season with a lingering knee issue but recovered to play the last eight of the regular season.

His injury flared again after round 23, forcing the forward out of the Giants' first two finals against Adelaide and West Coast, but while Smith was passed fit for the clash with the Tigers, the 24-year-old was not selected.

A desire to spend more time in the midfield sparked Smith's decision to leave GWS, and while he denied being left out of the preliminary final 22 was the main reason for him departing, he told NAB AFL Trade Radio that it will play a part in his future.

"It wasn't the final nail but it definitely didn't help," he said.

"It was a great atmosphere sitting there watching in the stands but it was quite strange being an emergency and not suiting up.

"It's a very disappointing way to end after being up there for six years as a foundation player, and playing 100 games.

"It's something that will motivate me and going forward I'll definitely remember how I felt."

With the likes of Josh Kelly, Dylan Shiel, Stephen Coniglio, Callan Ward, Lachie Whitfield and Tom Scully all in front of him as first-choice onballers, Smith was forced to play the majority of his 109 games for GWS as a permanent goalsneak.

"I was drafted as a midfielder but going to the Giants I just played that half-forward role and didn't really get a go in the midfield," he said.

"It's pretty hard up there because the midfield list goes about 10 deep, and you've probably got two or three playing in the NEAFL that would play in any other side."

Smith says he chose the Bombers as his preferred home because of their participation in such iconic days on the footy calendar like Anzac Day and 'Dreamtime at the G', but it was also his excitement at the talent playing under coach John Worsfold.

"I really enjoyed watching their footy last year, (they play) such an exciting brand and have a good young list I believe," he said.

"I think they're really going places and they've got some good foundations set to go forward, so the room for improvement is massive.

"If you look at the spine they've got (Michael) Hurley, (Cale) Hooker, (Joe) Daniher, and it's pretty dangerous.

"I wanted to go to a successful club and I've played in finals, and that’s something I want to keep doing."

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