NORWOOD recruit Jay Rantall hopes a strong season in the SANFL will reignite his AFL career.
The midfielder has joined the Redlegs following two coronavirus-impacted seasons at Collingwood.
He is in Adelaide for a two-week pre-Christmas training block after downtime in Warrnambool with family and friends.
Rantall, who will move to South Australia in the new year, said the Redlegs presented an opportunity to play in a strong competition which could pique AFL recruiters' interest.
"The main reason to come over here was to play at the highest level of footy I can so I can hopefully get back on an AFL list," he told The Standard.
"That's the ambition but right now I'm pretty excited for what lies ahead with Norwood.
"It is a high level of footy and there's a lot of great players running around and I think it's going to be a good challenge for me."
COVID-19 restrictions, which all but ruined second-tier competitions on the Eastern seaboard in 2020, meant Rantall was limited to scratch matches in his first season at Collingwood.
He played a mixture of AFL and VFL games for the Pies this year but again the VFL season was cut short.
"The main disappointment over the past two years has been not being able to play footy," Rantall said.
"I played 9.5 - if you want to count half the sub match - so not much at all over the past two years.
"I am looking forward to knowing I have a game of footy each week."
MORE SPORT: Draw's out: Find out your club's schedule
Rantall, who described Adelaide as "very much like Warrnambool", said Norwood had impressed him.
"We went for a bit of a tour of the facilities and it's first-class," he said. "I just want to bring my strengths throughout the midfield.
"I want to keep working towards round one and keep chipping away at what I've been working on the past couple of years and just express it through games."
An extended post-season break in Warrnambool was the ideal result for Rantall, who spent time training with his former club South Warrnambool.
"It was just great to come home and be around friends and family, that time is more valuable than ever with the world we live in and the way my life is at the moment," he said.
Basketball was Rantall's other sporting passion - he represented Australia as a junior - and his younger brother Wil is now forging his own path on the hardwood.
Wil was picked to play for Vic Country at the national under 16 championships before restrictions interfered.
"I couldn't be more proud of him. I am probably his biggest fan so hopefully next year things go his way and he's able to create his own journey," Rantall said.
"I am just happy he's doing what he likes to do.
"He is probably a better shot than me and has a bit more height and uses it. He's come a long way in the last 12 months.
"But he still hasn't added beating me in one-on-one to his resume so as long as it stays that way it's fine."
Sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date.