MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - MARCH 06: Tom Phillips of the Hawks handballs during the AFL Community Series match between the Hawthorn Hawks and the North Melbourne Kangaroos at Arden Street Ground on March 06, 2021 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Quinn Rooney/Getty Images)

Delisted Hawk Tom Phillips is hopeful of continuing his career at a third AFL club in 2023 after an injury interrupted 2022 season.

The 26-year-old was delisted by Hawthorn after 26 games with the club across two seasons, just four of those coming this year. Prior to his time at the Hawks, Phillips spent five seasons at Collingwood, playing 89 games in black and white.

Appearing on AFL Trade Radio, Phillips said it was disappointing to not be offered a new contract, but said it had given him motivation to work towards new opportunities.

“I think like anyone in that position, I was upset and disappointed of course and I think looking back on my seasons previous to that and this season alone, I wasn't able to get the continuity and the runs on the board this year in playing consistent footy,” Phillips said.

“So that's sort of upsetting to reflect on, but in saying that it gave me an opportunity to have a look at being more mentally resilient and looking at when you are injured and you can't contribute on the field, it forces you to look how much more professional, how much more of a better athlete I can become.

“I think that's put me in a really good frame of mind at the moment to attack the next period and still hungry for an opportunity, very much in that mindset at the moment.”

Phillips has been linked with a possible opportunity at Essendon, per AFL Media's Cal Twomey, but the 26-year-old admitted he was leaving potential discussions around the league up to his manager as he focuses on getting his body right.

“For me it's what I can control, especially my body and my mind,” Phillips said.

“It's been a different challenge for sure. Having to turn my attention to focusing on getting myself right in the rehab programs and building myself back up, obviously pretty unlucky situations when I did play.

“For me, it's getting my body right. Get back to walking and it's a slow process with a PCL, but I'll be running in about three-and-a-half to four weeks which is awesome.”

“It's focusing on what I can control with my body at the moment to give myself the best opportunity with getting another opportunity, because the hunger and the fire is there.

“I'm really bullish about getting back to my best football, given the opportunity.”