Wangaratta Rovers' Dylan Stone says he's ready to tackle VFL after the first stint flopped.
In an outstanding effort by the midfielder-cum-forward, the 24-year-old has earned a place with Hawthorn-linked Box Hill Hawks.
"I went down at 18, but I just did Melbourne the wrong way," he said.
"I lived in Tullamarine, worked in Epping and it put a bad spin on me early and I moved back home within five months (laughs)."
It put a bad spin on me early and I moved back home within five months (laughs).Dylan Stone on the move to Melbourne for his first VFL stint
Stone spent time at Coburg, but he took his play to its highest level at Rovers last season.
He booted 26 goals and claimed the Hawks' most determined award with his combination of blistering pace and finishing skills.
"I reckon maybe 'Crezza' (coach Daryn Cresswell) was driving me a lot more and I guess it was a lot easier in a better side because it was much harder in '18," he said.
The Hawks claimed their first winless wooden spoon that year, finally snapping a 19-match losing streak against Corowa-Rutherglen last April.
Rovers remain Stone's second club, so he could still fill a role if he fails to play at the higher level.
"I really want to play at least five games," he said.
"After being at Coburg, with them not having an alignment (to an AFL club), I guess it wasn't really what I was looking for the first time.
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"At an AFL-aligned club, there's more eyes on you, the facilities are better and you're just in a more professional space.
"My attack side is probably my weapon, I need to work on my defensive base."