Wodonga's SANFL recruit Cody Szust is looking to put the fun back into his football.
The 24-year-old is coming off two frustrating seasons at Norwood where broken ribs and concussions limited him to only 12 senior appearances.
"Yeah, it's pretty demanding, you train four or five nights a week, then you've got work on top of that and I had uni and when you're not getting a kick, it takes its toll," he said.
... work on top of that and I had uni and when you're not getting a kick, it takes its toll.Cody Szust
The classy midfielder-forward had played 22 games with South Adelaide under four-time Geelong best and fairest Garry Hocking.
"I wanted a year off from the SANFL and obviously the Ovens and Murray is still a strong comp, so regardless of having a year away from a semi-professional competition, I can still play a high level of footy and enjoy it," he offered.
The 183cm Szust is both an inside and outside midfielder and has an uncanny knack to snare opportunistic goals, so will be a vital element as the Bulldogs look to break the league's longest finals drought (12 years).
"I want to enjoy my footy, build some good mateships and help the young blokes here at Wodonga, passing on everything I've been lucky enough to learn," he explained.
Szust arrived at the Bulldogs after playing with first-year coach Jordan Taylor at South Adelaide.
"He's very good by foot, very composed coming out of the back half, he doesn't have the biggest kick, around 30-40m, but he won't lose a one-on-one contest," he praised.
"He's the toughest player I've ever played with, he doesn't think twice, no matter what, he'll go for it.
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"He's a legend and at the same time he's one of the nicest blokes I've ever met."
The Bulldogs start their season against the other team tipped as big improvers in Corowa-Rutherglen.