DELISTED Richmond tall Todd Elton believes he is entering his prime, with the versatile big man determined to earn a second AFL chance after six seasons with the Tigers.
Elton produced his best season in 2017, playing six of the first 10 rounds at AFL level to take his career tally to 10 games before a shoulder injury hit in round 11.
While he showed signs with his contested marking in the VFL, he was unable to break back into a reshaped small forward line and finished the year sidelined with a minor foot injury.
Elton, 24, said he was surprised to be delisted by the Tigers and hoped his involvement in a premiership season would not be his last at AFL level.
"I'm definitely keen and it's been a lifelong dream for me. I was very upset it came to an end this year," Elton told AFL.com.au.
"Richmond had such a good year and I felt like I was a big part of it for a good part of the year.
"Just being a part of the success at the end of the year was unreal and it's definitely not the end of me.
"I want to have another fair dinkum crack at it, because I feel like I'm just getting into my prime and feel as though I've got plenty more to give, wherever that may be."
Elton was recruited with pick No.26 in the 2011 NAB AFL Draft and struggled for senior opportunities in his first five seasons at Richmond, playing just four games.
Viewed as a project tall through that period, he showed glimpses of his talent and had all the physical attributes to eventually make it at the elite level.
He completed a full pre-season leading into 2017 and, after stints in defence in recent seasons, he was used as a forward-ruckman, where he has shown most promise.
It was Richmond's investment in the mental side of the game this year, however, that benefited the 197cm forward most as he attacked the season with renewed confidence in his ability.
"The best thing we had was that everyone could come out and be themselves," he said.
"So there was no judgement if you came out and you were a bit different. Everyone came out of their shells and everybody believed in each other.
"I got some opportunities early, which I felt really improved my game.
"I felt dominant at both levels at stages and I've definitely taken a lot of the year, so I feel like I've got a lot improvement in me and a lot more to give at AFL level."
Elton has been given an off-season program to keep fit, completing running, weights and cross-training sessions to give himself the best chance of earning another chance either as a delisted free agent or a rookie.
He is also working on a building site three times a week after completing a certificate III and certificate IV in building during his time with the Tigers.
"One of the requirements was we had to get our 800 hours up, so I've just been chipping away at those so I'll come out with a qualification," he said.
"My manager has been talking to a couple of clubs, which is a positive sign.
"My opportunity might arise as a delisted free agent or the rookie draft and I'd take it with both hands. If it is interstate I'd put my best foot forward."