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Tiger Tom hits track early with new teammates

Pre-season slog heats up across Australia A Footy Feed update with Matt Thompson

TOM LYNCH'S 2019 campaign is underway with the boom Richmond recruit officially starting pre-season with his younger teammates on Monday at Punt Road.

Lynch, 26, fits into the age bracket of players set to return on December 3 but has resumed training early after his last season with Gold Coast ended back in July, thanks to knee surgery.

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He's been in and around the club over the off-season since he officially became a Tiger on October 8 on a massive seven-year contract.

But, the power forward is expected to remain on restricted duties until Christmas following the mid-season operation to repair his posterior cruciate ligament.

Tom Lynch hitting the track with his new teammates. Picture: Getty Images

Also facing a slow start to pre-season is midfielder Jack Graham, who had his shoulder reconstructed after the Grand Final.

Graham was running, as expected, on Monday with the rest of the first-to-four-year players but won't engage in any contact work until the New Year.

Jack Graham and Dan Butler running laps on Monday. Picture: Getty Images

Delisted pair Jacob Townsend and Mabior Chol were also at the club ahead of this week's NAB AFL Draft and NAB AFL Rookie Draft.

Townsend, 25, is still coming back from the broken lower left leg he suffered in the final VFL game of the year and faces a delayed start to summer training.

But, the Tigers have committed to redrafting him as a rookie this week after fresh opportunities with Sydney and Greater Western Sydney fell through.

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Chol is also hoping to remain at the club and reported for duty with the other young players after an injury-interrupted season.

Mabior Chol is doing all he can to earn a spot on the rookie list. Picture: Getty Images

Premiership Tiger Dan Butler hit the track on day one after his late-season ankle injury ruined his finals campaign while Nick Vlastuin and Dylan Grimes were others to take part in the hot November session.

Dan Rioli was a welcome sight in all drills after a broken foot delayed his start to the 2018 pre-season and cost him half the season.

And, the recently re-signed Shai Bolton looks to have benefited from an off-season that featured a fitness focus, with the 19-year-old coming back from Perth in good shape.

Rioli, Bolton and Jack Higgins – who also resumed at pace on Monday – have been earmarked for enhanced midfield roles in 2019 with the Tigers to re-evaluate their forward line set-up following Lynch's arrival.

New assistant coach Adam Kingsley took to the field for the first time after crossing from St Kilda to be part of Damien Hardwick's slightly shuffled coaching panel.

Kingsley will preside over the midfield with Justin Leppitsch to move to the backline after the departure of Ben Rutten for Essendon while Andrew McQualter will coach the forwards.

All smiles for Adam Kinglsey at training. Picture: Getty Images

Meanwhile, the Tigers will gear up for a five-day Gold Coast training camp at the end of January.

The club has favoured Queensland for their pre-season conditioning hit-out for a number of years but have tended to head further north to destinations like Cairns, Maroochydore and Mooloolaba.

They famously held their 'Triple H' sessions on their 2017 Sunshine Coast camp, which saw players share personal life stories that helped unite the group ahead of what would be Grand Final success.

While the exact program is being kept under wraps, the players can lock in the fresh location of the Gold Coast in the month after they return from their mandated three-week Christmas break.

Dan Butler trying his hand at tennis. Picture: Getty Images