ADELAIDE forward Luke Pedlar is hoping a full pre-season for the second consecutive year can help him back up a breakout 2023 and go to a new level in his fourth season.
Pedlar, who was restricted to five games and battled injuries across his first two seasons, played 21 games last year and was one of the big improvers at West Lakes, with a midfield move now looming for the strong-bodied youngster.
Drafted with pick No.11 in 2020, the 21-year-old said he was benefitting from a gruelling pre-season under fitness boss Darren Burgess and confident he could take his game to a new level this season.
"Everything is shaping up very well at the moment, last year I got to do the entire pre-season which put me in great stead, and I haven’t missed a session so far this year as well," Pedlar said from Robe on South Australia's south-east coast, where the Crows are on a three-day training camp.
"This pre-season has been a bit more compressed and bit harder than previous ones, the consensus among the boys is that it's been a bit of a step up.
"Everything is at such a high intensity, everyone is really driving the standards and hopefully it sets us up for a really strong season."
Pedlar was drafted as a midfielder but has so far made his name as a high-impact half-forward who can apply pressure and win the contested ball, kicking 25 goals and averaging 11.9 disposals last year.
His ability to burst from stoppages as a junior shapes as an asset for the Crows if he can successfully transition into the midfield after building his tank through an uninterrupted summer.
"Last year was a bit of a breakout season, but there is still a lot more to my game that I want to improve," Pedlar said.
"It was good to just play and get some continuity at AFL level last year, and now it is refining a few deficiencies which I will work on through the pre-season.
"The main thing is just getting as fit as I can and being right for round one to put my hand up for selection."