Adelaide recruit Chris Burgess is in line to split his time between forward and defence in his first pre-season at West Lakes after two dominant seasons in the VFL as a spearhead for Gold Coast.

Burgess returned to his home state of South Australia in the recent trade period and joined the club he grew up supporting after years spent at the lower level in Queensland.

The 28-year-old booted 124 goals in his last two seasons in the VFL to claim the past two Forsty Miller Medals, sharing his 2023 title with premiership-winning teammate Brodie McLaughlin.

Burgess's move to the Suns came a year after the Crows had shown an interest in the tall utility's services, with Adelaide having made a move for the Flinders Park product in 2022 before Burgess inked a multi-year extension with the Suns.

Halfway through that deal, Burgess and Gold Coast agreed to part ways after Adelaide rekindled their interest in the local forward.

"It was both (parties being interested)," Burgess told media of how his trade move arose.

"There was a little bit of interest before I signed the two years at the Suns.

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - SEPTEMBER 24: Brodie McLaughlin of the Suns celebrates a goal with Chris Burgess during the VFL Grand Final match between Gold Coast Suns and Werribee at Ikon Park on September 24, 2023 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Kelly Defina/AFL Photos/via Getty Images)

"I then played some really good footy in the VFL for the second year in a row and then the opportunity came up. I was pretty happy to come back home."

Burgess has commenced training in Matthew Nicks' squad as a key forward, planning to break into a forward formation that includes tall trio Taylor Walker, Darcy Fogarty and Riley Thilthorpe.

Having started his career in Carrara as a defender, Burgess could also fill a void in Nicks' backline following the loss of Tom Doedee and ACL setback to key defender Nick Murray.

With the Crows yet to settle on their plans for Burgess, the 191cm swingman is set to ply his trade at both ends of the field over the coming months.

"Not at the moment. I'm training as a forward and then there's a chance for me to train as a defender after Christmas," Burgess said when asked what the Crows have planned for him. "They're still trying to figure out where I fit.

"Obviously, I played forward the last two years and had heaps of fun doing it, so I'm comfortable being a forward, but if they need me to play defence I'm happy to do that as well and am keen to work on that craft.

"Over the last two years (my best position has been as a forward). When I first played defence at the Suns I probably weighed 85kg.

"I've got a bit more size now so it'd be interesting to see how I go."

Adelaide Crows recruit Chris Burgess at pre-season training, 2023 (Image via Adelaide FC)

After playing just three games at AFL level over the past two years despite his state league dominance, Burgess is ready to translate his strong form to the top flight with the Crows.

The former West Adelaide talent said he sees himself breaking into Adelaide's already-lethal front third.

"Ultimately I wanna be playing AFL," he said.

"I didn't get my chance to show what I can do at AFL level, hopefully, I get that opportunity here and get to show what I can do.

"... I can see myself playing AFL footy and helping the team out, it'll just come down to who 'Nicksy' chooses I guess."

Burgess could come up against his old side to start the 2024 season, with Adelaide scheduled to make the trip to Queensland to face the Suns in Round 1.