MEDIA CONFERENCE: Stephen Hill 04.02.13
Stephen Hill talks to the media about his relationship with Danyle Pearce.
I've had full contact and I'm training fully, so I'll be right for the NAB Cup
FREMANTLE midfielder Stephen Hill has resumed full training and will be available for the club's opening NAB Cup matches after recovering from a post-season shoulder clean up.
Hill was mostly restricted to Fremantle's rehab group pre-Christmas, but the 22-year-old was moving with trademark ease in a strong session at Fremantle Oval on Monday morning.
Fremantle has opted not to release Hill to play in Friday night's Indigenous All Stars match against Richmond after his slow build-up to full training.
However, the damaging midfielder was confident he would be available for Fremantle's NAB Cup clashes against West Coast and Geelong on February 16.
"I had a bit of a clean-up with my shoulder, just to get it right, but everything went well and I'm training fully now," Hill said on Monday.
"It would have been good to get out there among the Indigenous boys, but Freo's number one for me, to get my fitness back up and make sure I'm playing round one.
"I've had full contact and I'm training fully, so I'll be right (for the NAB Cup)."
Hill has continued his focus on becoming a better inside player this pre-season, working closely with midfield coaches Mark Stone and Brett Kirk to improve his contested game.
Last season the onballer recorded career-high clearances (3.7 a game) and contested possessions (8.4) and said the development in his game would help beat run-with opponents.
"It's probably easy for them to tag on the outside, so to be able to get in there and win my own footy makes it a bit harder," Hill said.
The arrival of line-breaking midfielder Danyle Pearce from Port Adelaide should also create more freedom for the heavily-tagged Hill.
"Having both of us running out there, you'll only be able to tag one of us, so hopefully each week one of us will be free," Hill said.
"I think we might work well together.
"He's been playing for a while now and he's been helping me out personally with a few things.
"Hopefully we can work well together and it'll be good for our club."