Eagle Ashley Smith has benefited from a more defensive attitude and is taking advantage of opportunities to be part of the side this season.

"I've always been pretty good at running and kicking the ball, but my defence was probably the thing that was letting me down and keeping me out of the team," he said.

"I've been working on defensive skills, like starting positions and spoiling, and they're the things that have helped me keep my spot.

"In the past I saw myself as an attacking defender, but this year I've looked more to defence. That's allowed me to play a few different roles."