SAM DAY admits it took a while to get his head around playing at both ends of the ground.
Taken by Gold Coast at number three in the 2010 AFL Draft, big things were expected of Day, the high-marking, powerhouse forward from South Australia.
Like most talls, he's taken time to develop, watching as teammate Tom Lynch supersedes him – and the rest of the competition – as a household name.
And when the Suns had a hole to plug in defence, Day has invariably been the man to do it.
Rory Thompson has suffered his share of injuries over the years, and in 2016 it was Steven May missing five games through suspension that forced Day back to a key defensive role.
Rather than seeing it as a hindrance, the 24-year-old says he has now accepted it is how he can best serve the team.
"It took a bit of maturing, growing up and going through the process of learning those positions," Day said.
"Now I see it as a positive, especially if that's what the team needs.
"I've really embraced it over the last couple of years and I see it as a pretty exciting thing."
As a forward, Day forms a potent three-pronged attack alongside Lynch and Peter Wright.
At 197cm and more than 100kg, he's a difficult match-up.
Day kicked eight goals in the final six weeks last season to show a glimpse into how the three talls could work together.
He is also often the second ruckman, capable of five-minute stints in the middle of the ground.
Coach Rodney Eade has already indicated Day could be used on a 'horses for courses' approach this season, swinging between positions depending on opposition match-ups.
"I can see it's a help for the team and myself to continue to grow at every position," Day said.
"Consistency is the big word.
"My maturity has come a long way in terms of knowing myself and how to get the best out of myself."