HAVING completed the first full pre-season of his career, Sydney star Isaac Heeney says he’s faster and stronger than ever but wants to steer clear of playing in defence in the year ahead.
The tough 22-year-old speedster is expected to again float through the midfield and spend plenty of time forward, but is hopeful a fit Sam Reid means he doesn’t have to play down back.
"If he can come back in ... he can slip into that role and I can stay in the forward line and hopefully kick some goals," Heeney told reporters at the Swans' fan day on Saturday.
"It’s nervy down back, I’m not the biggest fan of it.
"I love kicking snags, so if I can sneak down forward and kick a few goals as well I’ll be doing that."
The New South Wales native has kicked 79 goals from his 80 appearances.
Entering his fifth AFL season, Heeney feels like he’s on the verge of peak fitness.
"I just want to take my game to the next level, I think a bit of speed, use my legs throughout the contest and just being clean over the footy, whether it be on the ground or in the air.
"And then hopefully be able to make some big tackles and be really able to motivate the lads throughout the game.
"It’s the first pre-season I’ve actually had.
"I’ve had a full pre-season now, whereas the last four years it’s been extremely interrupted, so I’m feeling fit, feeling strong and just can’t wait for the games to start.
"I’ve always had little niggles, and (this pre-season) I’ve done nearly every session."
Heeney also revealed he’s been doing extra with coaches, focusing on increasing his speed out of the blocks.
"It’s just working on the first sort of three, four, five metres," he said.
He’ll be able to put that to the test when he plays for Nat Fyfe’s Flyers in next week’s realestate.com.au AFLX tournament.
The AFLX teams go into camp in Melbourne on Wednesday.