JACK Gunston's time in the backline appears over, with the two-time leading Hawthorn goalkicker eyeing a return to attack.

The 26-year-old spent the majority of 2016 playing across half-back after injuries to defensive regulars Josh Gibson, Ben Stratton and James Frawley, but with Stratton fit and former forward James Sicily looking comfortable in defence, Gunston has been training with the forwards this pre-season.

He has kicked 290 goals in 149 games with the Hawks and Adelaide since his debut in 2010.

"With all the numbers coming back into backline like James Frawley, Ben Stratton and Grant Birchall, then there's not much room down there," Gunston told SEN radio on Monday night.

He joked that he was looking forward to the move, "probably because I don't have a defensive bone in my body.

"I've been doing a fair bit up forward which is a bit more natural to me, so I think I'll be giving forward a crack again this year.

"I've always loved playing up forward, kicking goals and the excitement factor up there and adapted myself to that role.

"In saying that, it was great to be able to go back this year and try something new and get a feel for what it is like back there."

Meanwhile, with former skipper Luke Hodge now with the Brisbane Lions and Gibson calling time on his career, Stratton is ready to re-establish himself in defence after succumbing to a season-ending knee injury in round eight last year.

The three-time premiership Hawk has a had a seamless pre-season in preparation for his 10th year in the brown and gold.

"(It's) all good with knee after a long year for me because I got that right towards the end of the year, and I've had no issues thus far," Stratton told RSN radio on Tuesday.

"With the absence of Gibbo and Hodgey, a couple of spots have opened up, those boys (who filled in for me) have been accommodating, and I feel welcome again.

"I've slotted in just nicely."