FEAR not Dragons fans, young-gun Tyrell Sloan isn't contemplating a code switch, but he'll owe some gratitude to the Sydney Swans if he can force his way into first grade season.
The teenager was impressive in his first top-grade hit-out last week, grabbing the first try and impressing with his ability to cover the ground. That ability turned heads through the preseason, with the Dapto product virtually cruising through the distance running.
It included that of coach Anthony Griffin, something Sloan puts down to some gruelling preseason sessions with the Swans after tagging along with good mate, and Shellharbour product, James Bell.
"The preseason training suited me, I'm more of a long-distance runner and I did some preseason with the Sydney Swans," Sloan said.
"One of my mates, James Bell, is in the top-grade up there. He's a bit of an idol for me, he's a young indigenous boy that plays first grade up there and this year he's trying to cement first grade.
"He invited me along and said 'let's just get ready for preseason, this is your year to have a big year'. He helped me try and be a professional athlete. Now I'm ticking boxes with that so he helped a lot, he's like an older brother to me.
"The running they were doing was the sort of running we were doing at the start of [preseason]. It was all long distance, two-k runs. Their training is a lot different to ours, but the running we did to start [preseason] was all two kilometres, one-kilometre time trials.
"That's what I did up there and the times they run are a lot quicker. It was really hard [at the Dragons], but the times I was doing were comfortable for me. I just tried to get on the front foot at the start of the season and impress. Hopefully I did that."
It was a nice springboard into his first full preseason with the Dragons, but he's certainly not contemplating a code switch, despite mixing with the likes of Adam Goodes via the stint.
"I'll try and make it here first," he said.
"I've never played AFL, I started getting into it last year because I was hanging out with Jimmy a lot. I got to meet Adam Goodes and had dinner with them. They're Aboriginal icons for myself but they were just normal people, it's just 'hi I'm Adam'. It was awesome."
Sloan, who good judges have likened to Sharks legend David Peachey, is part of an emerging new guard at the club that fans saw in the club's first trial outing last week. They'll get another glimpse of it against Parramatta on Thursday night and Sloan is feeling right at home among a host of familiar faces.
"To play with Junior [Amone] and Bud [Jayden Sullivan] was great," Sloan said.
" I grew up playing with them so to get on that stage was really special. At the start of the game me and Junior just looked at each other and said 'this is our time'. There's a really good aura around the group. If we can bring that into first grade we can have a lot of success.
"Even when I came into preseason the first couple of weeks were easier. I spoke to the Feagai boys and Bud before and they didn't really have any [other] young guys coming through in their first preseason. I just jumped in really easy and the group just bonded really well. That transition was great."
With Matt Dufty and Cody Ramsey above him in the fullback pecking order, a first grade debut this season would likely come on the wing, something he's more than comfortable with.
"Wherever I play this year I just want to play consistent footy," Sloan said.
"I played a bit of wing in the SG Ball and enjoyed it. I had the Feagais' as my centres in that squad so I didn't have to do much defence and I scored a couple of tries because it was an easy pass and score.
"Having Duft and Cody in front of me [at fullback] really helps me a lot. The competition's really healthy. It's not 'I'm better than you' it's to better yourself. If I can learn a lot from Cody and Duft it's helping my game and I'm going to try and help their game too."