It was a sight for sore eyes on Monday morning as the majority of the Fremantle squad joined as one for the first time in 66 days for a full contact training session in wet and windy conditions.
The swirling wind, however, wasn’t enough to drown out the noise of the players, who were clearly excited to be re-united as one, at least for two hours of training.
Coaching staff including Josh Carr, Tendai Mzungu and David Hale did their best to stay warm, with some kick to kick during the players warm up runs.
Intermittent rain was interrupted by sunshine for the large part of the session, as the groups went into a rotation of contested marking, ground ball and tackling drills.
‘THAT’S HOLDING THE BALL!’ echoed Nat Fyfe (complete with umpire’s signal) after Connor Blakely failed to escape a David Mundy tackle.
While a coach will typically say ‘bring it in tight!’ to his troops, it was a scattered huddle in between drills as the players kept their distance from each other while Justin Longmuir gave instructions.
Although full contact applied in between the whistles, the playing group split into their separate training groups when it came to drink breaks, while David Mundy appeared well versed in the air high five.
The bibs then came out as a full ground transition drill erupted with voice in full swing, as Luke Valente and Caleb Serong cut imposing figures, putting on a skilful display.
Ethan Hughes marked well down back, while Blake Acres and Andy Brayshaw looked dangerous entering the forward 50.
Lloyd Meek moved around the ground like a midfielder complete with a ‘selling of the candy’, while Michael Walters and Matt Taberner linked up for multiple goals.
Top-10 draftee Hayden Young looked to be at full fitness after a limited pre-season, flying down the wing and delivering accurately inside 50 in one drill.
Stefan Giro and Liam Henry, who have both recently recovered from knee injuries, occasionally stepped away from the full group to take part in separate drills where there was a focus on agility and changing direction.
Both players moved freely and appeared free from any lingering effects from their injuries.