St Kilda defender Jake Carlisle has put a horror season behind him which started with serious injury and finished with trade speculation.
The 28-year-old featured in the last 10 games of 2019 after returning early from back surgery.
Carlisle concedes he played "underdone" but is in much better shape heading into a season full of promise for the Saints.
Despite his future at Moorabbin being questioned in several media reports last year, Carlisle said he "was never going anywhere".
"I just wanted to get through the year because it'd been tough and just reset this off-season and go again," Carlisle told reporters on Monday.
"I don't worry about the outside noise anymore.
"I'd been through six months of pain, and surgery was around March.
"I think they said I'd miss around 16 weeks and I come back in 10 so it was surprising on my behalf but also great not to make it a wasted year."
The former Essendon swingman said the Saints were in a better position than in any of his previous four seasons at the club to break their nine-year finals drought.
During the trade period the Saints brought in Bradley Hill, Zak Jones, Dougal Howard and Paddy Ryder.
It will be the club's first entire campaign under coach Brett Ratten after the former Carlton mentor took charge for the final six games in 2019.
"Not only just because we've got guys come in the off-season, but we've got guys that have played together for two or three years now," Carlisle said.
"We've got the right people here to help us win games, and if we're going to win games then we'll be in positions to win finals or whatever may be."
Carlisle featured at St Kilda training on Monday morning with Pakistan cricket legend Wasim Akram.
The 104-Test star signed a cricket bat at the Saints' headquarters, which will be auctioned off on the club's website to raise funds for bushfire relief.
Australian Associated Press