Bombers recruit Smith over bitter GWS exit

Nov 27, 2017 - 1:37 AM Essendon recruit Devon Smith has declared he can withstand the rigours of a new midfield role as he looks to move on from his bitter exit from Greater Western Sydney.

The Bombers had a glimpse of their future on Monday with Smith joining fellow newcomers Jake Stringer and Adam Saad for his first AFL pre-season training session.

Along with former Western Bulldogs forward Stringer, Smith was restricted to running laps and taking part in light drills.

He will begin full-contact training before Christmas and hopes to prove his body can hold up in the midfield.

A small forward with the Giants, Smith struggled with knee injuries that sidelined him for 10 games in 2016 and a further six midway through last season.

The 24-year-old demanded a trade after being overlooked for finals selection but admits in retrospect he could have better managed his body during the season.

"It was a bitter way probably to finish in the end," Smith told reporters.

"It was disappointing, not playing in the prelim ... but I wish the Giants the best.

"We're competitive people, footballers. It's pretty hard to see at that time of the year - you don't really want to miss out on finals and whatnot.

"In the end I did anyway, so in hindsight I would have taken a bit more time off."

Smith had interest from other clubs including Collingwood but was swayed by the "scary" potential of young stars including Zach Merrett, Andy McGrath and Darcy Parish.

While lacking height at 176cm, Smith is bullish about his durability and believes he can add something to a Bombers midfield that has often lacked brute strength around the contests.

"I don't think they'd sign me up if I wasn't ready to go and could play good senior level footy," he said.

"It's probably just getting your fitness back up, (and) the physical side of the crash and bash in the midfield.

"Obviously not being so tall it's just being strong in the gym and working closely with the coaches."

Source: AAP

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