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Walters on track

Michael Walters spoke to Docker TV on Tuesday. Michael Walters chats to Docker TV after returning to the club for pre-season training.

A determined Michael Walters is ready to do the work to get back to his dangerous best in 2018.

The versatile small forward is two days into his official pre-season preparations, however, like past seasons, Waters arrived back at the club ahead of schedule to ensure he was ready to hit the ground running come the start of pre-season.

“I’ve been coming in early over the past couple of years because I wanted to get that structure back,” Walters said.

“During the off-season, you tend to do training whenever you want to do it. To come back early, especially with the younger boys as well, I can help out and show some leadership where I can. 

"It’s good for me, I quite enjoy it.”

Walters is starting the pre-season on a modified running program as he continues to recover from a knee injury sustained in round 18 against Hawthorn at Domain Stadium.

Despite a restricted start to his pre-season, Walters is confident his knee will soon be back to 100 per cent.

“The knee’s really good,” Walters said.

“I’ve been doing my running and getting my weights and strength up, so it’s coming along quite well. 

“The fitness staff and the coaches, the amount of work they put into the off-season program keeps you in good stead to come back fit and ready to go. 

“That’s no different this year, they've put out a structured running regime that's made me come back with the right amount of running, strength and also got the kms under my belt to get through this pre-season and also to kick off the year.”

Usually a small forward, Walters was a revelation in a part-time midfield role in 2017.

Against St Kilda in round 15, Walters collected 32 disposals and kicked six goals in one of the most dominant performances of the season. 

After Nat Fyfe’s impressive performance as a forward for Australia in the International Rules Series, some football analysts have suggested a midfield role for Walters could release Fyfe as a key forward.

While Walters doesn’t doubt Fyfe would be damaging as a forward, he said the Fremantle captain is too valuable as a midfielder.

“If I was to play midfield, I’d love Fyfe being in there too,” Walters said.

“He’s got that bigger body and is someone who knows so much about football and so much about that role in terms of our structures.

“He always gets the harder defensive mid playing on him, too, but if he does go forward he’s going to cause some real damage which is also good for us as a team.”

The views in this article are those of the author and not necessarily those of the AFL or its clubs