Smith could have managed knee better

Essendon recruit Devon Smith concedes he could have managed his knee troubles better but insists they won't be a concern in his time at Tullamarine.

The Bombers handed over pick No.11 and a future third-round selection in exchange for Greater Western Sydney's Smith, the Giants' pick No.24 and a future second-round selection, securing the Geelong Falcons product, who has been with the Giants since their first AFL season in 2012.

Smith - who played mainly as a forward at GWS - was limited to just 16 games for the expansion club this season and was troubled during the year by a knee issue before being overlooked for the finals.

Speaking on the AFL's trade radio, Smith said his knee wouldn't be an issue in the future. "It's definitely something I could've managed better last year, but it's no long-term concern," Smith said.

As for his September snub, Smith acknowledged that it played a factor in his decision to request a trade back to Victoria. "It wasn't the final nail but it definitely didn't help," he said.

"It was a great atmosphere sitting there watching in the stands but it was quite strange being an emergency and not suiting up.

"It's a very disappointing way to end after being up there for six years as a foundation player, and playing 100 games.

"It's something that will motivate me and going forward I'll definitely remember how I felt."

He added that he was hopeful spending greater time in the midfield. ???"I was drafted as a midfielder but going to the Giants I just played that half-forward role and didn't really get a go in the midfield," he said.

"It's pretty hard up there because the midfield list goes about 10 deep, and you've probably got two or three playing in the NEAFL that would play in any other side."

Collingwood had been among several other clubs pursuing Smith, and had Smith joined the Magpies he would have reunited with childhood friend and former Giants teammate Taylor Adams, who told Fairfax Media in recent days of his desire for Smith to head to the Pies.

Smith said he had weighed up moving to Collingwood, but was swayed by the Dons' youth. "It's definitely something I considered, but the Bombers was the gut feel for me," he said.

"I couldn't believe how young their list was, that was something really exciting for me."

Smith kicked 100 goals in 109 games with the Giants after they used pick 14 in the 2011 draft to secure him.

The Bombers have recruited Smith to add depth to their midfield rather than as a small forward, given they are already well catered for in that area with Orazio Fantasia, Anthony McDonald-Tipungwuti and Josh Green, while also targeting Jake Stringer from the Western Bulldogs. Smith noted on Thursday that he had roomed with Stringer during their AIS days.

Essendon list and recruiting manager Adrian Dodoro said Smith would add valuable midfield depth.

"He is coming from a club that has a lot of talent but he just couldn't get in their midfield. He will get the opportunity here with us and I think he will prove to be an excellent player," Dodoro said on the club's website.

"He is an exceptional talent. We are looking forward to seeing Devon play his best footy."

With the retirements of Jobe Watson and Brent Stanton, and the delisting of Heath Hocking, the Bombers need to regenerate their midfield around captain Dyson Heppell, along with Zach Merrett, who finished second in the best and fairest voting behind Joe Daniher.

This story Smith could have managed knee better first appeared on Brisbane Times.