ESSENDON recruit Josh Green won't be spending his Christmas period relaxing, with the former Brisbane Lion to use the break to "catch up" on important fitness after battling a foot injury.
The small forward suffered a foot fracture at the start of 2016 that compromised his final season with the Lions, before having another foot setback late in the year.
Green was overlooked by all clubs at the trade table before the Bombers handed him a second chance as a delisted free agent, and he is aiming to be in full training early next month to be ready for the JLT Community Series in February.
"I've been at Essendon about four weeks and I'm starting to integrate into the training now. The club's medical and rehab team have been fantastic so I should be training after Christmas, which is great and I'm really excited for that," Green told AFL.com.au.
"I'll be back able to play about six weeks after Christmas, and will train pretty hard over the break compared to the other boys because I need to catch up a bit. I'll have a bit of time to build a nice little base before the pre-season competition."
Green arrived at Essendon in November having been cut by the Lions at the end of the season after six years and 81 games with the club.
After playing just 11 games in 2016, Green was open to a trade to another club and a "fresh start". But when one didn't eventuate, he was left to wait until the delisted free agency period before Essendon came calling.
The 24-year-old met with Bombers coach John Worsfold about a potential role nestled in the club's forward line tackling, creating pressure and sniffing out scoring chances, and thought it sounded perfect for him. But he admitted it was a nervous period before a spot was assured.
"The scary thing during that period was if I didn't get picked up I was done. And I did have a contract offer from Brisbane earlier in the year so it was a bit scary that it could've been over, but [his manager] Alex (McDonald) was really good and he worked really hard for me and pushed my name out there for me," Green said.
"Essendon was the place I wanted to get to and hopefully I can repay the faith to them for giving me a deal and I couldn't be happier."
Green's contract status was the topic of plenty of conversation this season. After receiving a three-year offer from the club earlier in the year Green put talks on hold mid-season to wait and assess his options.
Speculation grew that Green was posturing for a more lucrative deal, and he said it was difficult at times to not be distracted by the talk around his future at the club.
"It can build pressure, I'm not going to lie. People ask you about it, they see things, they rip into you on social media. It obviously does distract you a little bit because some of it is not true, especially the asking price that was put out there. That wasn't true," Green said.
"It definitely is hard to bite your lip because you want people to know the truth but at the same time people are entitled to their opinions and don't know the facts.
"They just hear one thing and run with it. But it's all done now and it's been a great first month at the club and I couldn't be happier with where I am at the moment."
Green, whose best season came in 2014 when he kicked 33 goals in 20 games, said he is enjoying working with the Bombers' group of forwards and building chemistry around goal.
He is already excited by the prospect of playing in front of big crowds in Melbourne, and is keen to be a part of the Bombers' push to the finals having yet to play a finals game so far in his career.
"Everyone's getting on really well and are focused on 2017," he said.
"It's exciting, the expectations haven't really been talked about yet but hopefully we'll be around the top eight looking at our list."
Josh Green and Travis Colyer compete in a drill at training. Picture: AFL Photos