Season 2016 is shaping as make or break for Adelaide midfielder Mitch Grigg – yet he insists he's not feeling the pinch.
Grigg has shown signs he's quite capable at the elite level – the quality of disposal off his left foot is often mouthwatering.
But he's so far been unable to lock down a place in the Crows' best 22.
He appeared to have done so early last season when he strung together five-straight senior games leading up to the bye, only to hurt his ankle away from the club, sidelining him for a month.
That was that, and Grigg spent the rest of 2015 in the SANFL.
The 23-year-old agreed with the Club's decision to only offer him a one-year contract extension at the end of last season – in his own words he wasn't worthy of anything more.
He intends to earn "respect" and the longer-term contracts that come with it.
"This year's really a big year for me, obviously I only got the one-year deal [last season] so I'm really looking to consolidate my spot," Grigg said.
"I think it was a pretty fair decision … I was in and out of the side, not really consolidating a spot – three-year deals don't come for those sorts of players.
"You've got to work hard and you've got to earn that respect to be able to get that three-year deal.
"[I don't feel] many pressures at all to be honest. Yeah, it's a one-year deal and you don't know what is ahead of that but if I could say right now what I want to happen, it'd be to play consistently.
"I'm just going to work on getting a spot in the team."
Grigg will benefit from the scrapping of the substitute this year.
Along with Jarryd Lyons, he became accustomed to wearing the green vest and wore it nine times in his 20 games.
He said the potential for greater opportunity hadn't affected his approach to training – although he did admit he was better placed in 2016 than he had been in previous seasons.
"[No substitutes] just gives an extra opportunity for another player to get a full game … it's obviously a lot better as one of those guys who gets looked at to be the sub," he said.
"It's going to work out a lot better."