LAST year was a rollercoaster for Greater Western Sydney's Lachie Ash.

Not only did the Giants' No.4 pick from the 2019 NAB AFL Draft have to deal with moving to a new state, he also had to learn a new position.

And above all, the 19-year-old, like so many others, had to move into one hub after another after another, a situation he admitted "fried his brain" by the end.

MEDICAL ROOM The full AFL injury list

Among all the chaos and change, Ash managed 12 games in his debut season and won the Giants' Rising Star award.

But as the boy from Shepparton told, it wasn't easy.

"I found the first three weeks pretty good," Ash said.

"It was good to get to know the boys and hang out with them because I hadn't spent too much time with them, so it was good in that sense.

"But after three or four weeks, being a kid from the country I'd never been locked up that much.

"It probably started to take its toll on me and by the end I was over it. You just couldn't get away from the game.

CIRCLE THEM IN YOUR CALENDAR The 20 matches of 2021 you won't want to miss

"Coming from the farm I've always had stuff to do … I had to learn (ways to cope) and it took a toll on me. It fried my brain a bit."

Ash said he's "always doing something" and has settled into Sydney life well, living with Tom Green and Jake Riccardi last year before branching out on his own this year.

On the field, it's been a steep learning curve for the dashing half-back.

He came to the club admitting he had no idea how to defend, and some direct feedback helped sort him out.

"In juniors I didn't really have to defend, I was one of the better kids and you usually get followed around most of the day," he said.

2021 FREE AGENTS Check out who is up for grabs

"'Spike' (Mark) McVeigh said to me, 'if you don't know how to defend, you probably won't be playing'.

"That was early in the pre-season. I was a high draft pick, coming in, thought I was pretty good, and that was the smack between the eyes I probably needed."

Lachie Ash during a Greater Western Sydney training session at Sydney Olympic Park Sports Centre on January 6, 2021. Picture: Getty Images

With Heath Shaw as a mentor last year and Lachie Whitfield and All-Australian Nick Haynes this year, Ash said he's slowly learning how to defend better one-on-one and juggle the balance between attack and defence.

And with Shaw retiring and Zac Williams heading to Carlton, the door is open for a long stint at half-back for the youngster blessed with great speed.

Out of contract at the end of the season, Ash said he had no intentions of going anywhere.

"The Sydney lifestyle is so good," he said. "I've got every ambition to stick around.

"The club's really good, they've helped me settle immensely, all the boys are really good.

'A NATURAL FIT' Brilliant Giant goes from larrikin to leader

"The only reason I'd ever leave is maybe through lack of opportunity, but I love my time here, I love the boys, there's nothing bad that would send me out the door.It's mine (opportunity) to kick away now.

"I just have to start the year well and keep performing and that'll take care of itself."