GREATER Western Sydney forward Devon Smith has revealed he's hopeful of re-signing with the Giants by the middle of this season.
Media reports earlier this week linked Smith, who is out of contract at the end of 2017, to Collingwood, where close friend and former Giant Taylor Adams is a joint vice-captain, and other ex-GWS players Adam Treloar and Will Hoskin-Elliott are on the Magpies' list.
The skillful forward would no doubt be an attractive prospect for rival clubs, but after training at the SCG in blazing sunshine ahead of Saturday's Sydney derby against the Swans, Smith said his management and the club have had plenty of positive discussions about him staying a Giant.
He acknowledged the obvious link to Adams and his other former teammates, but said he hasn't given the speculation much thought.
"I talk to 'Tay' (Taylor Adams) but it's not like he's their list manager, so I don't know where they got that one from," he said with a laugh.
"He calls me once a week, I call him to see how he's going, and obviously I text Will Hoskin-Elliott and 'Adzy' (Adam Treloar) to see how they're going because we were mates for four or five years.
"Last year I missed a large chunk of the season so I just want to play some good footy, and I'm loving being here."
Smith will be a serious threat to Sydney in the 12th edition of the derby, with his dangerous foot skills on both sides of his body allowing him to kick goals and set up his teammates from anywhere on the ground.
The powerful runner booted three goals in each of the first two rounds of the season, and has averaged 22 possessions from his next two games after spending more time in the midfield.
The 23-year-old is in far better shape than he was 12 months ago. A knee issue forced him to battle through the summer, and he eventually broke down and missed nine games during the middle of the year following surgery.
"Last year I did about 20 per cent of the pre-season, and it was actually this game (against the Swans at the SCG) where I just couldn't even run around," he said.
"I was kidding myself and telling myself that it was OK, but I had no idea how bad it was.
"Once I had the cleanout, I was feeling better within two days.
"This year I did about 90 per cent of the pre-season and I've been pulling up really well, so it's a big month ahead.
"I'd love to get up in the midfield, but obviously it's tough to get in there. If I can get two or five or 10 minutes in there, I'll take it."