SUNS forward Ben Ainsworth is hoping some football research during the COVID shutdown period will help him excel on the field in 2020.

While maintaining his impressive pre-season form during the time away from the club, Ainsworth made a deliberate effort to watch game vision and learn from some of the best small forwards in the competition.

The 22-year-old is into his fourth season in the AFL and said refining the small aspects of his game had been the focus this year.

“(It’s) probably just learning off elite players of the competition,” Ainsworth told SUNS Media.

“Obviously you have a lot of time on your hands in isolation so I’ve got a lot of vision in the books at the moment of the elite players.

“Whether that’s watching Toby Greene or Tom Papley from Sydney - it’s just learning I suppose.”

After spending significant time in the midfield during the last two seasons, Ainsworth is preparing to return to where he started his career up forward.

He said the depth the club now possessed in the midfield meant the forward line was bolstered by the likes of mid/forwards Darcy Macpherson and David Swallow.

“In conversations with Dewy it’s just finding that balance,” Ainsworth said of his own game.

“It’s probably more forward at the moment as we’ve got a fair amount of depth in the midfield at the moment. 

“I’m relishing my opportunity down there and am just working with Darcy and Secco (Alex Sexton) and a few other blokes like that. 

“It’s exciting just to be out there as a group and hopefully perform this weekend and for the games to come the rest of the year.”

The SUNS will restart the 2020 season this weekend, hosting West Coast at Metricon Stadium in Round 2.