The rehab group has shrunk to a couple of players. Everyone's been managed really well
Freo had its first pre-season training session at Patersons Stadium this morning ahead of the first NAB Cup match at the ground against West Coast and Geelong on Saturday 16 February.
While most of the squad trained in stifling heat - Perth is scheduled to reach 38 degrees today – Michael Walters and Paul Duffield ran back and forth from the dugout wing to the city end behind post.
Duffield underwent off-season surgery on his left knee, but he said he was a couple of weeks ahead of schedule.
“I’m going really, really well,” he said.
“I haven’t missed a beat in terms of getting everything right.
“I’m really looking forward to getting out there and playing in a couple of weeks.”
Elsewhere, the big men broke away from the main pack to challenge each other to a series of ruck and marking duels.
While both weigh over 100kg, Kepler Bradley showed ruck recruit Jack Hannath the importance of a battle-hardened AFL body, outmuscling the 21-year-old to take some strong grabs.
Jon Griffin got a taste of what the other club’s ruckmen are in store for this season as he tried valiantly to reach far enough to spoil Aaron Sandilands.
The good news for ‘Griff’, is the 211cm ‘Spider’ will be on his team when the real stuff begins.
Zac Clarke and Craig Moller also went head-to-head.
Duffield, who was one of very few Freo players not partaking in full training, said the squad had been looking forward to training on Patersons again.
“It’s a little bit different to Fremantle Oval in that it’s a little bit longer,” he said.
He said it was heartening to see so many numbers on the track at this stage of the club’s preparations.
"The rehab group has shrunk to a couple of players. Everyone's been managed really well,” he said.