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Sturt ‘coming along quickly’

Lyon on Fyfe's return Ross Lyon spoke to WA media before training. Confirming Nat Fyfe is set to return in round one.

Fremantle draftee Sam Sturt is progressing well in his first ever football pre-season, according to senior coach Ross Lyon.

Fremantle selected Sturt with pick no.17 in the 2018 NAB AFL National Draft, based in part on his impressive late showing in the TAC Cup.

After debuting in round 14, Sturt led the TAC Cup in score assists and tackles inside 50 and was also top five in the league for goals and score involvements in that period. 

Lyon said he was seeing Sturt benefit from his first ever football pre-season, with the general forward earning a selection in Fremantle’s extended squad for Sunday’s JLT Community Series clash with West Coast at Rushton Park.

While Sturt could likely be an emergency for the game, Lyon said he earned his place in the squad.

“With Sam being in the squad of 30, that will fuel his desire a little bit,” Lyon said.

“Overall for our supporters, he’s training on and developing quite quickly considering his load base, as he’s come out of cricket.

“If you look at a lot of the other first round picks, they’ve been in the elite pathway for a long period of time and have been in all the programs. 

“Sam was in the elite cricket program, trying to make those teams.

“He’s never done a football pre-season in his life and played eight TAC Cup games and impressed that much that our scouts then drafted him.”

Lyon said that Sturt’s loading has been slightly lower than that of his fellow draftees, who are more accustomed to football pre-seasons.

“All of our first-year players out of the TAC Cup do 80 per cent of the pre-season but Sam was a little bit under that and we’ve had to build him up,” Lyon said.

“But he’s coming on athletically, very quickly and fortunately off a small sample as he seems to athletically have speed and endurance.

“He’s coming along really quickly and we like what he’s delivered off half-back with his run.”

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