WESTERN Storm forward Shaun Collis is proving a valuable addition for his new TSL club.
The 24-year-old personal trainer and teacher joined from NTFA club Evandale this season because of a desire to have a crack at the top level of football.
The former Tassie Mariner and Ringarooma player-coach said it took a bit of adjusting to State League level but he was starting to feel more confident in his role.
``I had knee surgery at the start of the year so missed pretty much all of preseason,'' he said.
``The work rate needs to be much higher at this level especially as a forward and the defensive side is a lot harder - rather than having a guy play on me every week you have to do a lot more defensive running.
``My form is getting better and it took me a while to get used to what my role is in the team, having been used to playing full-forward whereas this year it's more as a high half-forward - but week by week I'm getting more comfortable with my role in the team.''
Collis said Storm coach Mitch Hills had provided good feedback and areas for him to work at improving.
``To begin with it was my offensive side, which I've worked on, and then he wanted me to get into more contests and make more of an impact on the scoreboard,'' he said.
``In the last couple of weeks I think I've been able to bring all those things together so it's coming together nicely.''
Having played a big role in the Storm's Foxtel Cup victory earlier in the season, Collis said that victory had set up their State League season and gave the players self-belief.
``I think since then it has shown us if we stick to our game plan and defence first we can beat anyone,'' he said.
``We've been breaking our TSL season down into blocks and we wanted to win all our games between the two Foxtel Cup games and if we win this weekend we will have managed to do that.
``I wasn't sure what to expect at the start of the year with a new team, but now halfway through the year I'm looking forward to the team improving every week and finals at the end of it.''