BEFORE arriving at Collingwood, Paul Seedsman had never played in defence.
So after plying his trade in the VFL over the last few years, it's ironic that he has begun to make his name in that role at AFL level.
Fresh from a best-afield 28-possession performance against the Brisbane Lions last Friday night, the dashing half-back flanker fronted the media at the Westpac Centre on Friday in the lead up toMonday's Queen's Birthday Clash against Melbourne at the MCG.
And his mentors, Scott Pendlebury and Heath Shaw, would have been pleased with a similarly polished performance in front of the cameras, as he had on the field last Friday night.
Seedsman attracted the attention of coaches Nathan Buckley and Michael Voss, who awarded him the top votes (eight) in the AFL Coaches Association Champion Player of the Year voting.
Happy to have an impact against the Lions, the 21-year-old said he has worked closely with Shaw, and Harry O'Brien, on contributing to the team in different ways.
"Heath Shaw is one of the best one-on-one defenders in the game," Seedsman said on Friday.
"He can play on talls, mediums and smalls, so his versatility is also there.
"When we get the ball, he's also one of the most damaging offensive half-backers and that's the position I've been playing lately."
Pendlebury, who Seedsman described as the "ultimate professional, has worked closely with the 76th pick in the 2010 NAB AFL Draft – as his first-year mentor – advising him on preparation, diet and other off-field demands.
One thing Pendlebury has emphasised is the need to consistently back up strong performances.
"You can never take footy for granted, because one week you might play well and then the next someone might bring you back down to earth pretty quickly," Seedsman said.
The Pies are wary of that, too. They have been criticised for their inconsistency for much of this season.
"We haven't played a full four-quarter game all year," Seedsman said.
"Our main goal is to play four quarters this week against Melbourne, and hopefully not ease up at any stage – like we have in the past couple of weeks."
The defensive mindset is another non-negotiable, with Seedsman saying the Pies needed to do a better job of nullifying the opposition's momentum within games.
That aside, Seedsman – who did not play in last year's Queen's Birthday clash – knows the importance of bringing the right kind of intensity against the Demons.
"It's no good having one good game and then having a stinker the next week, so, yeah, just looking forward to getting out there against Melbourne," he said.
Ben Guthrie covers Collingwood news for AFL.com.au. Follow him on Twitter: @AFL_BenGuthrie