PATRICK Naish isn't embarrassed to admit he was overawed when he first trained with Richmond two years ago.

"My favourite player was Brett Deledio growing up, and I couldn't believe I was out there with him at the time," Naish said. "He started calling my name and I was like 'How good is this?' Then Jack Riewoldt and Dustin Martin did the same and it was great." 

Naish, a father-son prospect for the Tigers in 2017, has since stopped letting some of that excitement overcome his time spent at Punt Road.

The son of former Richmond player Chris Naish, who played 143 games with the Tigers between 1990-97 (before 18 games with Port Adelaide), the 18-year-old midfielder has since become a regular face at the club.

Naish began stepping up his involvement with the Tigers after playing for Vic Metro at the NAB AFL Under-16 Championships. As a player on the Tigers' father-son radar, he did some basic training and kept in touch with people at the club around managing his training workload.

But last year saw the Northern Knights prospect step up his involvement with the yellow and black, going to the club most Tuesday and Thursday nights after school. With every session he became more accustomed to the company around him. 

"Last year I got rid of the 'wow factor' and have viewed them as possible teammates or players along those lines. Trent Cotchin took me out for lunch back then and I couldn't believe it, but then last year I forgot about their status in a way and focused on my own footy and my progress and getting the best out of myself while I am there," Naish told from the NAB AFL Academy's training camp in Florida. 

After doing weights sessions at Richmond, the lightly built outside midfielder would often sit down with Tigers assistant coach, and former St Kilda midfielder, Andrew McQualter, to review his TAC Cup performances, another benefit of being linked to the former club of his father.

Despite the time he has spent with the Tigers, including another stint in December last year when he trained full-time with the club as part of the Academy's program, Naish starts his draft season unclear on Richmond's interest in him as a father-son pick. He also knows that, with his draft season yet to begin, he still has plenty to prove.

"They don’t tell me much [about their interest or plans]. I've got to know them on a really personal basis, including 'Dimma' (coach Damien Hardwick), and it's good to chat to them. They've said work on the things you need to, but don't forget the things you are good at and keep trying to make them elite," Naish said. 

Naish is keen to develop the contested side of his game, with his athletic style and long kicking the key attributes of his make-up. That process has already started, with Naish making it a priority on the Academy's US trip to come back a better 'inside' player. 

The group of 36 prospects, plus four Irish international hopefuls, will train this week at the IMG Academy in Bradenton before heading to Los Angeles next week for more training on their high performance camp, which 13 clubs have sent recruiters to oversee. 

Last year Naish spent plenty of time playing as an attacking half-back, but he is keen to move into a midfield role in 2017 as he continues to try to add more weight to his light frame. 

He has followed the Tigers closely since his father's career there, and credits his dad for giving the right advice when needed without being overbearing. However, there is one game that Patrick says he has seen replayed plenty of times at home.

"He sometimes brings out the tape of the 1995 semi-final against Essendon (when Richmond beat the Bombers by 13 points), and especially that second half where he kicks a few goals against them," Naish said. 

"But he's been unreal in knowing when to hold back with his words when my own coaches need to tell me stuff, and when to jump in and give a hint here or there when I need it. He taught me everything as a little kid."