PREMIERSHIP-winning Western Bulldog Shane Biggs played every game in the club's breakthrough 2016 season, but his start to 2017 has been a far cry from last year's success.
The defender averaged 21 disposals and recorded the second-most metres gained for the club in its premiership year, but has been axed twice by selectors this season.
The former Swan was first dropped in round four before returning briefly in round five only to be demoted for the next four matches.
"It's not pleasant, especially happening twice. You definitely don't get used to it," Biggs said.
A lack of consistency was to blame for Biggs' omission from the team and he said coach Luke Beveridge was clear about what he needed to improve on.
"It is personal and he gives you a lot of pointers on what to work on, so there's definitely no grey area in what you need to do," Biggs said.
"That was what was a bit frustrating for me in the way that I didn't go back and put in place exactly what I wanted to and I knew that."
The 26-year-old has learnt to read Beveridge's body language and knows what is coming if he is out of form.
"Sometimes you see him sort of walking towards you and you're thinking, 'How many kicks am I getting and how did I go?'," Biggs said.
He said that with a healthy list the pressure for spots in the team was the toughest it has been in his time at Whitten Oval.
"Just as long as there's guys putting their hands up in the twos and everyone playing well, then you've just got to play at your best and as consistently as you can, and I wasn't doing that," Biggs said.
Though the running defender admits it is difficult being sent back to the VFL, he has not been disheartened and sees it as an opportunity to improve.
"It's healthy to go back and work on your game because it's sometimes easy to work on your game at the lower level," Biggs said.
"It's hard once you're in the AFL to really work on certain things sometimes."
Biggs has been comforted by the fact that close friend Tom Liberatore has also been forced to deal with being omitted this season.
Liberatore reached out to Biggs when he first arrived, and they have "hit it off ever since".
"He's a lot of fun, he's a couple of lockers down from me, so when I first got here he was sitting there when I rocked up," Biggs said.
"It's like going to a new school, so I was panicking a little bit (and) he helped me out."
Biggs was traded from Sydney at the end of 2014 after playing just six games in three years for the Swans.
"Just being able to get another opportunity was obviously really good for me and that was a little testing time there, but (I'm) happy I made it here in the end," he said.
Biggs is set to face his old side again in round 12 in what should be a thrilling Grand Final rematch, and he said the club would try to use the mid-season break to freshen up.
"It's always a pretty good game against them, there's a bit of history already," he said.
"We're already definitely thinking about that (game). We'll try and put it away for a couple of days, but we're already into that."
Click HERE to watch AFL.com.au’s full interview with Biggs as he discusses the Dogs’ back-to-back premiership chances, Robert Murphy’s injury, his affinity with Instagram and much more.