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Donnellan fired up to get started

View Fremantle's 2019 AFLW fixture. 2019 AFLW fixture release

After a long off-season, Fremantle captain Kara Donnellan can’t wait to commence pre-season training on Wednesday night.

A 2km time trial will welcome Donnellan and her teammates to the club for their first official day back, with a full training session scheduled for Thursday.

Fremantle’s season kicks off on 3 February against Melbourne at Casey Fields and Donnellan won’t underestimate the importance of every session in the lead-up.

“It’s been a long time coming. I had the WAWFL season off to rest the body but it feels like a lifetime ago that we were here and I’m just excited to get started,” Donnellan said

“It flys by, the pre-season, so I’m going to make sure I enjoy every moment I can with the girls, while learning new things through Trent (Cooper) and the new coaching staff.”

The midfielder recently returned from a holiday in Bali with teammate and fiancée Ebony Antonio, where the pair took time to clear their minds before what will be a whirlwind period.

"Going into our third pre-season, we know how short it is but how busy you are in that time, so it was nice just to get away for five days and relax,” Donnellan said.

“We still did our training out there in the humidity, getting ready for (our game in) Darwin (against Adelaide in round four). That was good that we could still tick the boxes that we needed and still enjoy some downtime.”

Donnellan’s life won’t get any quieter following the conclusion of the 2019 season, recently accepting the senior coaching role for the Swan Districts WAWFL team.

“It’s a good opportunity to grow my experiences and skills for life after playing,” Donnellan said.

“I played a lot of my footy in the past six years at Swan Districts and I wanted to give back to the club that’s given me so much.

“I’m thrilled to be named head coach.”

Donnellan hopes her coaching experience will also enhance her playing career.

“I’ve done a bit of coaching in the past and I think it does (help you as a player),” Donnellan said.

“You see the game in two different aspects as a coach and a player when you’re out there.

“Hopefully, it will add to the tools that I can use out in the field.”

With such a short lead-in for round one, Donnellan’s already made the time to catch up with Freo’s new signings.

“I’ve made sure that I’ve made contact with all of them for coffee and getting to know them away from the football club,” Donnellan said.

“It’s really important to build those relationships, which will help form the camaraderie out on the footy field and make things a lot easier."

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