With his first two seasons hampered by injury, Payne made his debut in Round 10 against Richmond last year and impressed with his intercept marking ability and large frame.
Now in his fourth preseason, he says he is looking to take the momentum of 2020 and cement a spot in the backline.
“I was really happy with my finish to last year and getting to play a few games toward the end of the season,” Payne said.
“I’m continuing to train hard and want to impress in the upcoming intra-club and practise match against the Gold Coast. I hope I can be there for the start of Round 1.”
He said experienced defenders like Grant Birchall, Daniel Rich and Harris Andrews have been great role models.
“Harris has been a really positive influence. Particularly when he was out for a couple of weeks last year, he helped me a lot with vision and developing my game,” the 21-year-old said.
“Richy and Birch, even Ryan Lester have passed on a lot of knowledge and I really enjoy playing with those guys.”
At 197cm and 101kg, the key position defender is already impressing in the gym as he looks to increase his strength.
“Marcus Adams and Stef Martin when he was here were two guys I really looked up to in the gym. I really want to be similar to them as I develop more.”