West Coast's 'endurance benchmark' Chris Masten is being challenged by Scott Selwood
Snapshot: Unlike most clubs, West Coast has trained solely at home this pre-season. The Eagles were extremely pleased with their players' condition when they returned from their off-season break, their strong fitness levels allowing the football staff to tailor a training program with slightly less running and more skills work than in previous years. Players with eight or more years' experience trained away from the main group for most of December. These veterans trained as a group three times a week in addition to completing their individual weights programs, but joined the club's main group every Friday for full-ground skills sessions. After being sidelined for all of the 2012 season, forwards Mark LeCras (knee) and Mark Nicoski (hamstring) are on track to return by round one next season.
Break: The Eagles broke for Christmas on December 22 and resume training on January 3.
Draftee watch: The Eagles have closely monitored the workloads of draftees Adam Carter and Mark Hutchings, but both have completed most sessions and impressed with their competitiveness. Brant Colledge had a minor hip operation shortly after arriving at West Coast and is hoping to resume training in late January. Former Collingwood midfielder Sharrod Wellingham has impressed with his professionalism in his early days as an Eagle, while ex-Melbourne utility Cale Morton has recovered well from shoulder surgery in August and resumed full training.
Burning: After an injury-interrupted pre-season last year, Scott Selwood has been challenging the Eagles' endurance benchmark, Chris Masten, in their running sessions. Twenty-year-old tall Scott Lycett has been one of the Eagles' standout performers on the track, while defender Ashley Smith, 22, and rookie Simon Tunbridge, 19, have noticeably lifted their training intensity this pre-season.
Medical room: Despite being an exempted veteran, Mark Nicoski has been a regular fixture at the club and is expected to resume full training in January. Mark LeCras completed most of the veteran group's pre-Christmas training, but is yet to resume competitive work. Daniel Kerr had arthroscopic surgery on his right knee in December but is set to resume training in mid-January, as is Nic Naitanui after he had groin surgery in November. Brad Sheppard (ankle) and Eric Mackenzie (hip) resumed training on December 17 after minor post-season operations.
What they say: "It was a really pleasing start to the pre-season with the shape the boys came back in from the break. That has translated into our training; the intensity as a whole has been very good, and the players' competitiveness in drills has been outstanding. At this time of the year it's hard to know where you are compared to other clubs, but we're happy with the way the boys have gone about it so far." - Assistant coach David Teague
NAB Cup schedule:
Round one: v Fremantle and Geelong, Patersons Stadium, Saturday, February 16
Round two: v Collingwood, Patersons Stadium, Sunday, March 3
Round three: v Port Adelaide, Alice Springs, Saturday, March 9