It’s onwards and upwards for talented Richmond midfielder, Reece Conca, as he casts aside the anguish associated with his 2015 season by throwing himself into preparations for the new league football year.

A nagging hamstring injury restricted Conca to just three senior appearances in 2015, all of them coming late in the season, including the elimination final against North Melbourne.

He has, however, taken a philosophical approach to the biggest setback of his five-year AFL career with the Tigers.

“I’ve just got to take the positives out of last year.  Obviously, it was pretty disappointing and frustrating, but I’ve learned a lot about myself and the way that I want to play my football,” Conca said at Richmond’s community camp in Albury.

Win the 2016 Tigers Golden Ticket by becoming a Richmond member

“Physically, I’m in the best shape I’ve ever been right now. 

“I’ve really developed, not only as a player, but as a person.  So, I think that’ll hold me in good stead going forward. 

“I’m still only 23 . . . I think my best footy’s still ahead of me, which is good.

“Fingers crossed I can stay healthy and really contribute to Richmond going forward.”

Conca is on a modified training program to help him avoid the hamstring problems that plagued him last year, and he’s seeing clear benefits from it, in the gym, as well as out on the track.

 “My strength in the gym’s improved out of sight and my running’s improved,” he said.

“A lot of it’s just more monitoring it now, more of a maintenance thing.” 

Conca’s is delighted that his name’s already been pencilled in for Richmond NAB Challenge opener against Fremantle at Mandurah on Friday week (February 19).

 “I’ll play next week.  So, it’ll be good to get home, get a bit of match fitness in, and shake out a few cobwebs, because I haven’t played too much footy over the last 12-16 months,” he said.

“I’m really looking forward to it.”