NORTH Warrnambool Eagles export Billie Smedts is looking to make the backline his home with Geelong this season.
Smedts, who played down back with the Cats in last night’s AFL pre-season challenge cup game against Collingwood, revealed he hoped to establish himself as an attacking defender.
The 21-year-old, who played 13 games last season but none in the Cats’ finals campaign, is hungry to find a permanent spot in Geelong’s best 22 as he enters his third full season since making his debut in 2012.
After spending his first year at the club on the injured list, Smedts spent time in defence in 2012 and last year was playing more as a forward/midfielder as he took his games tally to 27.
“I’m going to go back again this year which I am really looking forward to,” he told the Cats’ website.
“I’ve looked at who I’m going to play like when I go down there so I have been working alongside Andrew Mackie and (Corey) ‘Boris’ Enright and really sort of picking their brains and trying to learn as much as I can so I feel really comfortable going into games and understanding my role for the team.
“I think it (defence) suits me the way I play. I play a lot better where I can see the game ahead of me and can read the play a bit better and take the game on a lot more.
“I’m really looking forward to getting down there and hopefully I can cement my spot for 2014.”
Smedts said that while first-year player Jarrad Jansen had been outstanding on the training track during the off-season, rookie-listed Kolora-Noorat’s Nick Bourke had also impressed the senior group.
“I like Nick Bourke, he’s down my way so I’m a little bit biased,” he said.
“Bourkey has shown a lot as well. They have all come in with great attitudes.”
Smedts applauded the club for keeping its pre-season training in Australia, unlike rivals which headed to places like Arizona.
“It’s been pretty solid, it’s been hot. I would rather train in the heat than go anywhere.
‘‘We were lucky enough to stay in Australia and went up to Coffs Harbour.”