A significant increase in his strength and fitness saw Sean Darcy become one of Fremantle's most-improved players in 2021.

The talented ruck went on to win the Doig Medal at the end of the season in what was his first top-10 finish in five years at Fremantle.

Now, the 23-year-old wants to go again and add to his gains in 2022.

“This year I think I’m a lot fitter than I was last year,” Darcy said.

“I want to get fitter. Last year I had a couple knocks in pre-season and didn’t get to train as much as I wanted to.

“This year has been about getting a bit lighter and a bit fitter and being able to run a lot better.

“I did every session in the off-season, which you really want do.”

Darcy officially returned to trianing on Monday alongside his fellow five-plus year players, who were welcomed back with a time trial.

The players pushed themselves through four 1km runs. The first was a dead heat between Alex Pearce and Blake Acres, the second was won outright by Pearce while Griffin Logue won the final two.

The ruckman joked about bringing up the rear.

"I got a good view of eveyrone from the back!" Darcy said.

"But I ran alright, I beat my time, which was my main aim. it was a really tough challenge. It was a bit different to the usual time trials that we have.

"It was really tough and the boys ran really well. Everyone's really happy with their times."

Darcy expects Nat Fyfe to bounce back quickly as he recovers from multiple shoulder surgeries. The captain also returned to training on Monday but mostly worked out in the gym.

“I’ve called him a couple times in the off-season to see how he’s going,” Darcy said.

“The last progress was he’s going really well. He’s back running and trying to build some strength back into that shoulder.

“He’s feeling really good. Pre-season is a bit hard when you’re in rehab, you feel isolated but he’s been good.”