FORMER Greater Western Sydney defender Curtly Hampton remembers watching on at Indigenous All Stars camps as Adelaide's players – his future teammates – did extra running after training.
He said their fitness levels were already apparent on game days and the standards at West Lakes were a talking point around the League – but this confirmed it.
So in anticipation of such standards, after he was traded to the Crows from the Giants last October Hampton worked harder than ever to ensure he didn't appear out of place back 'home'.
A few groin issues held him back until Christmas but the 22-year-old now has his sights on a place off half-back.
"[Adelaide's fitness was known] around the AFL in general, at the Giants, I know when we went to the Indigenous All Star camps the Crows boys always had extra running after our training sessions," Hampton said.
"I just heard how hard they train and even playing against them – how hard they run.
"I had to train really hard [in the off-season], I lost a couple of kilos … it's probably the hardest I've worked in the off-season.
"I've been [training fully] for a month now and haven't had any little niggles or anything."
Hampton originally moved to Adelaide from Alice Springs to complete high school before joining the Giants in Sydney as a 17-year-old.
The closeness to family was a major draw card in luring him back to South Australia and he said he's already seen more of his parents since returning than he had during his entire stint on the east coast.
It's also been a chance to start anew.
A quick, graceful runner, Hampton showed plenty of promise in his 51 games for the Giants but struggled to find his place in the senior side last year.
"I played five games last year, I got to my 50th, my body was alright I just couldn't seem to get into the side," he said.
"I felt I played some of my best footy in the last five years last year, so I'm coming to the Crows feeling pretty confident about my footy.
"I was missing my family a fair bit and had a few passing away in the family so I wouldn't mind moving back here I thought.
"My mum and dad have been down here four times in the last three months so that's the most I've seen them in the past five years.
"I'm really happy about that, I can focus more on my footy now [and] I'll be happy outside of footy as well."