RORY Lobb will continue to cause headaches for opposition defenders in 2017, but admits he has ambitions to one day be Greater Western Sydney's No.1 ruckman.
Lobb played every game in a breakout season for the Giants last year, when he took the second most contested marks in the competition (60) behind Gold Coast star Tom Lynch, and kicked 29.16 playing as a deep forward.
The 23-year-old was also a valuable foil for GWS big man Shane Mumford in the ruck, and showed his versatility by having a cameo on the wing on various occasions.
It was a remarkable year for the West Australian who had played just one season of footy for Swan Districts in the WAFL before being drafted by the Giants in 2013.
Since then Lobb has added 14kg to his 206cm frame, and told AFL.com.au he's been discussing his future role with senior coach Leon Cameron over the pre-season.
While happy to play Mumford's understudy at the moment, the big man, who last year resisted the temptation of a return to his home state and re-signed with GWS until the end of the 2019 season, is weighing up a switch when the veteran retires.
"That’s the talk that Leon (Cameron) and I have been having, do I want to play my career as a ruck/forward, or as a full-time ruckman," he said.
"Obviously 'Mummy' (Shane Mumford) is the man now, and we've got Tom Downie, Dawson Simpson there, and young Matty Flynn is coming through too.
"With my height I'm tending to lean towards going the distance as a number one ruckman, but I love playing forward and I've made myself a position there.
"It's hard because I like the balance of playing both positions and also floating up on the wing as well."
With most of his game time spent as a deep forward, Lobb said he puts in a lot of work at training with his fellow goalkickers, and rarely gets to work on his ruck craft with Mumford.
But while he doesn't get to drill the physical aspects of ruck work with Mumford as much as he'd like, Lobb said he rarely misses an opportunity to ask his teammate for advice, and also looks around the League at other players for inspiration.
"Shane's a really strong inside player and doesn't jump as much as me, so we're pretty different, but he's probably one of the best at bodying up, so I just pick what I can from him and try and create my own way of playing I guess," he said.
"Nic Naitanui is the pinnacle for athletic ruckmen, with his jumping at the centre bounces and around the ground, so I watch him a lot too.
"I want to be a ruckman that can throw different things at the opposition so that’s the end goal.
"You can always get better, I mean I look at guys like Ryan Griffen and 'Mummy', and they're still working hard to improve their game.
"You're always learning from other people, whether it be the older guys or our young players, and I just try to use all the resources we have.
"I don’t know where my game can go but I'm just going to work as hard as I can to see where I can get to."