RICHMOND star Dustin Martin says he wants to spend more time forward, despite enjoying a career-best season in the midfield that has him in contention for this year's Brownlow Medal.
In a rare interview on the eve of his 150th game, Martin said extra boxing sessions outside the club and mindfulness training had contributed to his career-best form.
His numbers have gone through the roof, with his average clearances (5.6) and contested possessions (13.1) reaching career-highs and his average disposals (30.6) now ranked No.4 in the AFL.
It is as a goalkicker, however, that Martin wants to make an impact in the future, with his eight goals this season well down given his full-time move into the middle.
"I'd like to [go forward more] … sometimes I just get stuck in the midfield a bit too long trying to get the ball," Martin told AFL.com.au.
"I've just got to keep reminding myself to plonk myself down there to have a bit of a rest.
"I spend a bit more time in the midfield, but no doubt I love getting down there and kicking goals."
Martin is rated the Tigers' strongest player in one-on-one forward line contests and his coaches view him as a permanent forward later in his career.
It is his transformation into a contested ball and clearance specialist in 2016, however, that has taken his game to new heights.
"It probably is [my best season], I think I've just taken it to the next step, which I try and do every year," he said.
"This year was contested ball and getting more of that … next year we'll try and find something else.
"'Dimma' (coach Damien Hardwick) certainly challenged me, and the players were looking for someone to step up."
Martin's 150th game against Collingwood on Friday night comes in his seventh season, having missed only five games in that period.
It's a career that has flown, he said, despite a number of off-field challenges.
The most recent of those came at the end of last year when the star was accused of threatening a woman with a chopstick in a Melbourne restaurant, prompting extensive media coverage.
A Victoria Police investigation into the accusations was dropped, as was an AFL investigation, and Martin was handed a $5000 suspended fine by his club for being drunk in public.
Martin said he had learned in his time in the game to block out external noise.
"It's not too hard, you just don't buy into it and worry about your own life and these four walls," he said.
"You just don't worry about all the rubbish outside and I think you'll be all right if you do that.
"It is tough at times, but you've just got to keep trying to avoid it all and you'll be fine."
Another challenge for Martin has been his dad's deportation to New Zealand in March for his involvement in the outlaw Rebels motorcycle gang.
The midfielder has made multiple trips across the Tasman to visit his dad this season and said the Tigers had provided great support in allowing him time off.
Dustin Martin features in the round nine edition of the AFL Record, available at all grounds.