JACK Billings has a point to prove this summer, with the St Kilda youngster hoping to convince coach Alan Richardson that he deserves more midfield time in 2019.
Billings endured a lean start to last season, which resulted in him being dropped to the VFL for a week in June, but responded strongly with a consistent second half of the year.
He won 20 or more disposals in 10 successive games to end the campaign, relishing the extra midfield minutes, and now wants to prove he warrants more of the same next season.
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"I still like playing forward, so it's obviously going to be a bit of both," Billings said.
"I think I can really help through the midfield. But I'm going to have to work really hard over the summer and show Richo and the coaches that I need to spend more time there.
"But I definitely still like the combination of playing midfield and forward and I think that's one of my strengths."
Billings, who was recruited to the St Kilda with the third pick in the 2013 NAB AFL Draft, is one of a number of high-profile players set to come out of contract at the end of next year.
However, the 23-year-old will not put any added emphasis on getting talks out of the way early and hopes that things will work themselves out naturally at some stage in 2019.
"Pre-season's a bit of a slog in itself," Billings said.
"I'm just focusing on getting my body right, getting as fit and strong as I can and improving my game. Honestly, that's what you think about.
"Obviously I love the club and I'm going to give it my best. I'm looking forward to next year, so hopefully when the time comes I'll work things out."
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St Kilda trained in wet and windy conditions at RSEA Park on Thursday, doing a host of running drills where they were joined by future father-son prospects Tyson Milne (son of Stephen) and Jackson Voss (son of Brett).