SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - JULY 04: Sam Naismith of the Swans trains during a Sydney Swans AFL training session at Sydney Cricket Ground on July 4, 2017 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Ryan Pierse/Getty Images)

Former Sydney ruckman Sam Naismith is building a strong case for receiving a potential AFL lifeline as he continues to piece together a dominant 2023 season with VFL outfit Port Melbourne.

Naismith was cut by the Swans at the conclusion of last season after 10 years and just 30 games with the Bloods, having required three knee reconstructions during a luckless spell at the top level.

The 30-year-old weighed up a move to Western Australia after being delisted by Sydney but instead joined Port Melbourne's cause alongside a string of other ex-AFL names in Harley Bennell, Dylan Clarke, Tom Hird and Fraser Rosman.

While not alone in holding hopes of returning to the top flight, Naismith has started his new tenure in style, averaging 45.5 hit-outs per game from his four appearances with the Borough.

The Narrabri-born ruckman recorded 48 hit-outs along with 16 possessions, seven clearances and four inside 50s in Saturday's win over the Northern Bullants, a performance that added to a prolific run of form that has come against formidable direct opponents in North Melbourne-listed tall Hamish Free, Collingwood recruit Oscar Steene and former GWS ruckman Tom Downie.

Naishmith recorded 62-hit-outs against Steene in Round 2 of the VFL season, a timely reminder to list managers amid Collingwood's own ruck issues.

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The vein of form is sure to have placed Naismith in contention for a second chance at AFL level, with ruckmen proving to be an in-demand asset at the Mid-Season Draft across its two editions.

Last year saw seven of the 22 Mid-Season Draft recruits listed as ruckmen, with clubs to potentially come calling for taller players in this year's count.

West Coast are another club that has battled to support its ruck stocks, with Bailey Williams taking on the brunt of the workload as veteran tall Nic Naitanui continues to battle an Achilles injury.

Despite turning 31 in July, Naismith is hoping the start of his season with the Borough catches the eye of AFL scouts.

“I still want to play at the highest level,” Naismith told CODE Sports earlier this month.

“As much as anything it's a way of thanking those people who have supported me through this journey.”

Werribee ace Shaun Mannagh and Southport's Jacob Dawson would be among the top names across the VFL gaining attention from AFL clubs ahead of the Mid-Season Draft, which has been flagged to take place on Wednesday, May 31.