INJURY-FREE North Melbourne discard Mason Wood is putting himself through an early pre-season in the hope of winning an AFL lifeline.
After several years of setbacks, the 27-year-old feels he's finally on top of his body with a "point to prove" after he was delisted in September after 67 games for the Roos.
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Wood is completing several running sessions a week with a schoolfriend and a number of workouts at his home gym in a bid to prove he's a readymade option for clubs.
The utility, who was among the best endurance runners at the Roos, has had minor early interest, however clubs are only expected to move on delisted free agents in coming weeks as they work their way through new list constraints.
"Trying to piece together for my way back in, hopefully worst-case scenario is I'll have the opportunity to train with a club throughout the pre-season," Wood told AFL.com.au this week.
"You don't want to rock up half-baked… after three weeks of a holiday in Queensland I was ready to get back into it.
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"We spent the last five or six weeks of the hub just maintaining (our fitness) and trying to get through… we actually didn't do much training at all.
"Every time I looked at it and thought, 'Whatever way I can get back in, I feel like I've got a point to prove, I've got plenty more AFL footy left in me'.
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"I had a few conversations about (playing) VFL or state leagues and I'll definitely go down that path if it doesn't work out with the AFL.
"If I have to spend a year in the VFL to get back onto a list that's what I'll do."
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Training as a defender last summer, Wood was told on the eve of the season he was going to be used as a forward before managing eight matches for the year.
It came after 18 matches in 2019, while the game he's often remembered for dates back to a match-winning four-goal performance in 2018 against Sydney, a club which targeted him in 2016 before he signed a four-year deal at Arden Street.
While most of those four seasons were hampered by calf, knee, quad, hamstring and thumb injuries, Wood has avoided any post-season operations this time around.
"Last year I had a grade 3 torn quad for the first half of pre-season that we didn't know about," he said.
"That's what was a bit frustrating this year that I couldn't match-up form for whatever reason because my body was in really good nick.
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"Come the end of the year I didn't need any surgeries, I don't need maintenance or anything like that, so all things considered, I'm in a pretty good spot if that opportunity comes, I could come straight back in.
"That's what I'm training for at the minute."
Wood added that he was ready for "any role a club threw at me" which included the possibility of working onto a wing to complement his running power.