Kyle Reimers knows he will run out for the Perth Demons this year with a target on his back.
Famous for flashy boots and freakish goals, the former Essendon player has always been conspicuous on the footy field, but after being the first player to speak out about the Bombers' drugs crisis, the WAFL certainly won't offer him any form of protection from the public glare this year.
"It's footy, there's always cloud above everyone," he said.
"With my history and my out-there personality, there's always going to be (pressure and speculation) so take it as it comes really."
Speaking to _The Weekend West _, Reimers wouldn't answer questions on anything to do with his former club, nor whether he regretted speaking out.
However, he did admit to becoming tired of life in the AFL system after five years and 60 games with the Bombers, saying it had stripped all the fun out of his football.
"If I succeed at WAFL level I succeed but I'm just looking to have fun again," he said.
"The passion for football is still there but I'm just really looking forward to coming back and enjoying my footy and if it comes back it comes back. I'm not too concerned if it doesn't."
De-listed by the Bombers at the end of last season, Reimers was so disappointed with the AFL that he rejected an offer from new Carlton coach Mick Malthouse, who had earmarked a rookie spot for the half-forward specialist. "I got offered to train but turned it down. They put me on (the permission to train list) before basically asking me, really," Reimers said.
"I wasn't 100 per cent committed to it, so I didn't see the point in wasting their time and putting myself out there when I know there's 18, 19-year-old kids who want to give it a crack and give it 100 per cent."
After deciding to head home to Western Australia, the 24-year-old had talks with several WAFL clubs, including former club Peel, before settling on Perth.
He said the Demons provided the "best opportunity and best offer".
Reimers will be joined at the Demons by fellow AFL recruit Chance Bateman, who returns to the club where his senior football journey began.
The Hawthorn premiership player said he was looking forward to the challenge of working with a young Demons list after signing a two-year contract.
"It's been 13 years since I've lived over here. I really enjoyed my time over in Melbourne but it's great to be back close to family and friends and back here at the Dees where it all started," he said.
Perth start their pre-season campaign today against South Fremantle at Brownes Stadium at 2:10pm.
In other matches, Claremont host Swan Districts at Claremont Oval at 10:30am, Peel tackle East Fremantle at Bendigo Bank Stadium at 6:30pm and Medibank Stadium co-tenants Subiaco and East Perth clash at 6:30pm.
"I'm just really looking forward to coming back and enjoying my footy ..." "Perth recruit *Kyle Reimers *