With the start of Fremantle’s pre-season fixtures just under two months away, midfielder James Aish highlighted the importance of the coming weeks as the club’s five-plus year players returned to training.
Wednesday’s session was the first official training appearance for Aish as well as a number of his teammates including Nat Fyfe, David Mundy, Reece Conca, Nathan Wilson, Blake Acres and Brennan Cox.
With the WA border to South Australia closed through December, Aish trained with a handful of his South Australian teammates in Adelaide leading into Christmas, including Cox, Luke Valente and Michael Frederick.
Aish said he made the most of his extended stay in his home state.
“I was probably back for the best of two months,” Aish said.
“It was a really good little group of guys training and we got pretty lucky as well as there was that little cluster at one stage in SA but it was good that it was able to clear out and we could get back without quarantine and get into training.”
With a shorter than normal pre-season due to the 2020 season finishing later than normal, Aish said it was important to start his summer well.
“The club gave us a program for the whole off-season and I know the SA guys followed it really well and had a really good block, so I feel I’m ready to go now,” Aish said.
“It means it’s a really important month, you clearly don’t want to have any mishaps and you just want to make every session a good one.
“The games aren’t far away, which can be a good thing as well. Hopefully, it’s just a clean run for everyone and we get into it.”
Despite the shorter game times in 2020, Aish was able to increase his disposal average to 16.6 per game as he enjoyed plenty of time on the wing while occasionally going into the backline.
He said he would be happy to play a similar role in 2021 adding that he wouldn’t be taking his spot in the team for granted.
“I’m still happy to keep playing the majority on the wing. I enjoyed doing that and try to get a bit more run into my game,” Aish said.
“I’m always happy to go down back, especially whenever I need to. It might be the same this year, I’m not too sure but we’ve got a really good group of mids and backs, so it could be tight anyway.”