Nick Riewoldt isn’t ready to fade into the AFL sunset and is willing to do whatever it takes to stick around.
If that means shifting positions, he’ll do it.
If that means losing weight, he’s done it.
And if it means playing second fiddle in a side he’s captained for a decade, he’s up for it.
“I’m doing all I can to stay light and stay relevant,” he told AAP.
Riewoldt has transformed himself in the off-season, wearing a much-hyped new lean figure for the 2016 season in preparation for more midfield time in 2016.
His act is both selfless, helping to clear the way for key forwards Josh Bruce and Paddy McCartin, and selfish, keeping the flame burning on an AFL career that will notch 300 games early in the new campaign.
But there’s no doubt a St Kilda side with him in it is a better side than without.
Riewoldt’s planned move into midfield has plenty of precedent, with Matthew Richardson’s shift in 2008 an almost carbon copy move.
Richardson was the same age as Riewoldt is now, 33, when he was moved to the wing in a move that almost won him the Brownlow Medal.
He finished two votes short of winner Adam Cooney and Riewoldt said he’d be delighted to come within cooee of Richardson’s banner year.
“If I could replicate that kind of season, that’d be great,” he said.
“I think I’m going spend a lot more time forward than Richo did that year … it’s going to be about a 50-50 mix,” he said.
“We’ve got two young key forwards that are going to need mentoring at the right time and other times are going to be the man.
“It’ll be a juggling act but we’ll get the balance right.”
Riewoldt hopes Bruce, who fired 50 goals last year, will be a chief beneficiary of his 2016 change-up.
“He’s less likely to fall under the radar (but) it’s one thing to know how a guy plays, it’s another to stop it,” he said.
“He makes his own luck. I’m really confident he’ll back up.”
Riewoldt echoed AFL chief executive Gillon McLachlan’s call that the 2016 competition loomed as one of the most even.
“Outside maybe the top three or four (clubs), to put a line through the next 12 teams is really difficult,” he said.
“We’ve got a possibility mindset.
“We need to improve our offence, we need to be more efficient with the ball.
“We’re not putting limitations on what we can achieve.”