A PUNTING career in the NFL is an ambition for Matt Suckling, but the defensive playmaker remains fully focused on playing for as long as he can with the Western Bulldogs.

Renowned for his booming left foot, Suckling is also known for his love of American culture, with the National Football League ranking high amongst his interests.

Commencing his 11th pre-season in the AFL, the 30-year-old says while he has got an eye on the future, he's putting all his energies into building on the 152 games he's played for Hawthorn and the Bulldogs.

"I want to play in the AFL as long as I can, and if I do play for a few years it might take (an NFL career) out of the question, but if my footy career did get cut short, then it would be something I would look at," Suckling told AFL.com.au.

FULL FIXTURE Every round, every game

"I reckon I do have (the skill set for a kicker), but there's a lot of practice and reps, and it is pretty cut-throat industry over there, so there's a lot of work to put in before I'd move over.

"I've been on a few holidays over there with my mates and have a lot of friends over there, so it's become like a second home for me."

One reason Suckling's career at Whitten Oval could end earlier than he hopes is a troublesome Achilles that has hampered him in recent seasons.

The injury saw him miss the Dogs' 2016 premiership triumph, and it also ended his 2018 campaign after just 11 games, but he heads into next season hopeful a one-year deal he signed in July will be doubled through strong performances.

PROS AND CONS Our verdict on your club's fixture

"I've had some problems with the Achilles before, but it's just down to calf strength issues and playing a wet game against Adelaide (last year) … it just flared up, and then I tried to play on and couldn't," Suckling said.

"I've spent a lot of time putting strength into my calves and I'm pain free at the moment, so running around and building up to be flat out by Christmas.

"I would have loved to have signed a two-year deal, but there's a trigger in (the contract) for a second year if I play enough games.

WHO MAKES FINALS? Do the 2019 Ladder Predictor

"You do think about it at this age being your last year, but hopefully it's not."

So, whether it’s a career in the AFL or NFL, Suckling says he needs to keep working if he wants to continue to feed another obsession with American culture – a growing sports shoes collection.

"I've probably got too many pairs, so I need to get a girlfriend," Suckling joked.

"I spend too much money on shoes and have a good little collection at home."

View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Matt S U C K L I N G (@m01ttsuckling) on

View this post on Instagram

and away

A post shared by Matt S U C K L I N G (@m01ttsuckling) on