FORMER Hawthorn midfielder Alex Woodward has joined Collingwood's VFL team in 2017 as he works to re-ignite his AFL career following three knee reconstructions.

Woodward played just two senior games in five seasons at Hawthorn after being selected in the 2011 NAB AFL Draft. 

He returned from his third knee reconstruction late in 2016 playing four games for the VFL before being delisted.

He was overlooked both at the drafts and as a delisted free agent but tweeted his determination to continue pursuing his AFL career after the rookie draft concluded.

Woodward is one of the best players in the VFL, having won the 2014 J.J. Liston Trophy.

The 23-year-old told he had not given up hope of resuming an AFL career but he knew that his only focus could be on playing for the Magpies in 2017.

"AFL is obviously a goal, but team success comes first I think," he said.

"I just want to get back to basics in terms of getting some consistent footy out and enjoying my footy again."

Collingwood made the preliminary final in the VFL in 2016.