JAKE Stringer says he felt "shock" and "upset" at being placed on the trade table by the Western Bulldogs, a decision that blindsided him after an exit interview with club officials he thought had gone well.
He revealed having not spoken with coach Luke Beveridge since being told he was on the way out, believing "it's past that point now".
The 2015 All Australian admitted at the launch of NAB AFL Trade Radio on Tuesday he could have contributed more to the Bulldogs.
"There's just a whole lot of things I could've done better, whether it was training or games. It's just the whole life sort of thing for me. I'm only young but I've learned a lot this year and I'm really looking forward to what's next for me," Stringer said.
Stringer has played 39 games in the past two seasons and booted 66 goals. He didn't kick more than one in a game after the Dogs' round 11 bye.
His manager Paul Connors said it was likely that the forward would nominate a preferred club for trade in the next few weeks.
The 23-year-old was unsure specifically about what went wrong at the Dogs.
"I don't know the exact details on why. I haven't spoken to Bevo. I've spoken to (list manager) Jason McCartney about those type of things," Stringer said.
News that he had been put up for trade came after his exit interview with Beveridge, McCartney, football manager Chris Maple and forward line coach Ashley Hansen, when Stringer received no indication he would be moved on.
"We just spoke about family and life and I was really confident walking out of there," he said.
"I knew where I stood and how my year was. I knew I didn’t have the greatest year so there was nothing that was said or anything like that. I was never annoyed or anything like that."
The No.5 selection in the 2012 NAB AFL Draft received a phone call a couple of weeks later from his managers Connors and Robbie D'Orazio letting him know he had been placed on the trade table.
Stringer said he saw no point in discussing his situation further with Beveridge.
"It's past that point now. It's sort of just one of those things. I've dealt with Jase (McCartney), I've been talking to Jase, so I'm pretty confident and comfortable with where things are at now," Stringer said.
His two children live in Victoria, Arlo and Milla, so Stringer is not prepared to leave the state.
"A lot of the Melbourne clubs appeal. Obviously Paddy (Dangerfield) and the boys down there (Geelong), they're going through the finals right now," Stringer said.
"I think most of the clubs appeal to me. It's just about meeting them over the next two or three weeks and see what happens from there."
Stringer confirmed that he had met Essendon list manager Adrian Dodoro for coffee, but insisted that no one club was ahead of the others in the race for his services.
"It's way too early for that. There's still a lot of water to go under the bridge between now and trade week," he said.
And he rejected any suggestion that he and Bulldogs teammates had celebrated too long and hard after their 2016 premiership.
"No, I don't think so. We certainly enjoyed the premiership, as we should have, but everyone came back to pre-season ready to go. That was our mantra after it. We had our best and fairest and then after that, we knew that coming back, we had to put our best foot forward, otherwise the teams were going to come for us," he said.
Stringer said the past couple of years had been tough, but he was confident he could get back to his best in the future, saying that he saw himself playing a mixture of forward and midfield, after hamstring and knee injuries kept him to 16 games this season.
"I was pretty unlucky this year with a few injuries, but I put in the hard work in the pre-season. I'm really confident I'll put in another really good pre-season," he said.
"There's still a lot of ways to go in where I end up playing footy next year but I'm really confident that I can get back to somewhere where my best footy is."
Luke Beveridge speaks to Jake Stringer at Bulldogs training earlier this year. Picture: AFL Photos