Veteran half-back Nick Malceski is ready to atone his maiden campaign on the Gold Coast, and reclaim the cracking form that saw him earn All Australian honours.
The 31-year-old was dogged by a persistent knee injury last year and was unable to build any continuity.
But after an uninterrupted pre-season this summer, Malceski appears set to raise the bar in his second season at the SUNS.
“I had a disappointing year last year and I’ll be the first one to admit that and I’m looking to make amends this year,” Malceski told reporters on Tuesday.
“Obviously it was a tough year for me personally and also for the footy club, we didn’t have a great year.
“I think last year I probably did a little bit too much which hindered my knee but I’ve done everything and haven’t missed a beat so hoping to roll that into the games.”
READ: Rodney Eade confident Malceski back to full fitness
The introduction of new Elite Performance Director Justin Cordy and a high performance team built around promoting individualised programs appears to have revitalised the former Swan, with bike riding now a major part of his routine as he looks to reduce the load on his troublesome knee.
“It’s been probably one of the best things for me,” Malceski said.
“I’ve been running twice a week and been doing bike every other day, just the quad strength and that stuff has been really helpful.
“Ride into the club to training so it’s just helped my strength through my legs and my knee doesn’t take as much pressure.”
The 2014 All Australian is not only expecting improvement on a personal level, but also as a team with players now driving the club’s culture and standards at an elite level.
Malceski was last week voted into a 10-man leadership model with a mixture of experienced and emerging leaders putting the club in good stead ahead of a crucial 2016 campaign both on and off the field.
READ: GC SUNS confirm leadership
“I think we’re in a good position at the moment,” he said.
“We’ve obviously got a lot to learn still, but the leadership side’s been great.
“More blokes have stepped up and I think that’s shown with the leadership votes, we’ve got 10 in there now.
“So we’ve got five older guys and five younger guys so hopefully the older guys can keep teaching and mentoring those young guys to become better leaders and lead this footy club into the future.”