Goddard aims to get speed back
St Kilda defender Hugh Goddard feels he's ready to deliver, after spending much of the past two years in rehab.
He is one of the Saints who has slimmed down in the off-season, after coach Alan Richardson admitted several players had been too heavy last season.
Goddard feels losing weight has helped him with his running as he looks to get his elite speed back.
He's followed the trend set at St Kilda by Mav Weller, who's dropped eight kilograms, and Shane Savage who has shed five kilograms.
"It seems to be the AFL trend at the moment; I probably was a little bit heavy and had a bit of 'puppiness' with me," said Goddard.
"I feel like I've really been able to adapt my body to what's required. Trimming down has really helped my running, I'm really trying to get that speed back into my body."
The 21-year-old has had little chance to shine so far, since making his debut in round 16 of the 2015 season against Richmond.
In just his ninth game, against Adelaide in round 11 of 2016, he suffered an Achilles injury that put him on the sidelines for a year. His attempt to return last season was thwarted by turf toe, which meant he needed another operation.
The player, who was drafted at No.21 in 2014, has been back since the first day of pre-season and is looking forward to getting back in AFL action.
It will be the final year of his contract, but the defender insists that prospect doesn't worry him.
"It's out of your control," said Goddard. "I just want to make the most of this year. I've put a lot of things in place to ensure that I'm giving everything I can."
St Kilda are 5000/1 to win the 2018 Grand Final, while the Saints are 500/1 to finish in the top eight.
View all Australian Rules betting