After earning All Australian honours in 2019, Michael Walters has started his 2020 campaign in earnest.

Walters isn’t officially due back at Fremantle until Monday 18 November, but the versatile forward/midfielder has returned early to get a jump on his pre-season.

Teammate Sam Switkowski said that Walters’ presence on the track was lifting the standard for the first to fourth year players, who officially returned for pre-season on Monday. 

“Sonny can’t wait to get back, he brings a lot of leadership and a bit more voice and experience out there on the field - it definitely helps,” Switkowski said. 

“He can see if the drills are starting a bit slow, if the tempo’s not there or if there are specific things to work on.

“With his experience and talent, we want to use him as much as we can. He’s just so important to us and it’s great having him around. 

Switkowski was also pleased to meet new teammate Blake Acres, who joined the club from St Kilda in the 2019 NAB AFL Trade Period.

Like Walters, Acres isn’t officially due back until 18 November, but the midfielder participated in a handful of drills on Wednesday as he got to know his new teammates.

“I had a small chat with Blake, he’s loving being down here so far,” Switkowski said.

“It’s great to see him here already and he’s looking really fit and excited to be here. It was awesome having him down.”