Fremantle midfielder Matthew Johnson feels his game has gone to the next level after matching up against Nat Fyfe this pre-season.

Johnson is now entering his third season with the Club and has used this year’s pre-season to bulk up and learn from one of the competition’s best midfielders in Fyfe.

“It’s been a great experience for me pushing myself into him (Fyfe), and I think he’s probably enjoyed the challenge, so it’s worked well both ways,” Johnson told SEN WA on Wednesday morning.

“I think his (Fyfe’s) intensity is a real standout, he’s always hunting the ball real hard and being real physical in there. 

 “You have to match that if you want to be competitive, so it’s been good for me to challenge myself in that way.”

Johnson debuted for Fremantle in round three last year, subsequently playing 18 games for the season after impressing with his work around the contest.

This year, the 20-year-old has put on size to ensure he can compete with the bigger bodies within the AFL.

“I think it’s definitely essential. To compete with other players who are putting on size you sort of have to do it yourself. I’m lucky I put it on pretty easy,” Johnson said.

Matthew Johnson and Nat Fyfe

“Over the first two or three pre-seasons I’ve done, I’ve put on about 12 kilos. It’s definitely been good to get in the gym. I love it.

“We’ve got quite a bit of midfield depth, so being able to bring a bit of a bigger body to the midfield gives me a bit of a point of difference, so I sort of use that to put my hand up at selection.”

The 18-game player says he is thriving in enhancing is versatility as a player by playing his role for the team as he continues to develop his craft, but long-term aspires to be of an inside midfielder for the Club.

“I’ve been floating a bit in and out (midfield and wing) and that’s probably going to be the role I play this year, I’m pretty happy to play the position,” Johnson said. 

“Long-term I see myself an inside mid but at the moment we need some players to play on the wing and I’m enjoying that role too.