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Will Fyfe's 'secret' tweaks help him play every game?

Footy Feed special: Injuries, predictions, season countdown Nat Edwards and Mitch Cleary co-host from the MCG

WHETHER through injury or suspension, Nat Fyfe has never played a full season, but the Fremantle superstar hopes "secret" tweaks to his training regime improves his durability.

Fyfe has declared himself a certain starter against North Melbourne in round one after minor elbow surgery and is aiming to play all 22 games for the first time, and hopefully finals. 

Eight days out from the Roos clash, the Dockers skipper didn't want to give up too much about his training program but declared he was feeling confident in his body.  

"I can't give away too much. I'm hopeful we can have this conversation at the end of the year once I've played 22 (games) … and I can update you on a few secrets that I've done," Fyfe told AFL.com.au.  

"But it's more that mindset of adjusting the training so that I'm no longer needing to be the fastest, or strongest, or best clearance player in the country, I just need to be durable." 

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Fyfe, who has played 153 games since his debut in 2010, has only managed 41 matches in the past three years.

The Brownlow medallist re-broke his left leg in round five, 2016, and sat out the rest of the year.

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After playing 21 matches in 2017, Fyfe was limited to 15 appearances last year by a one-game suspension and six-week hamstring setback.  

The nasty hamstring strain in round 15 against the Lions was a major blow to a youthful and already injury-hit Dockers outfit.

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With dual club champion Lachie Neale moving on to Brisbane this off-season, more responsibility rests on Fyfe's shoulders in midfield. 

The 27-year-old has tried to improve his hamstring flexibility to ward off another strain and is crossing his fingers his preparation changes pay off.

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"Not so much strengthen (my hamstrings), it's more preparation, flexibility, understanding your age demographic," Fyfe said.

"Hamstrings really are the enigma injury of the AFL, people can't work out (why) – I'm sure there's an age component involved, there's a load component involved.

"We're really hopeful there's no reoccurrence, but there's always going to be that risk.

"Touch wood I get through this year unscathed and I can play my best footy." 

Fyfe missed both JLT Community Series matches but is priming himself for a favourable start to the season for Fremantle.

After the Roos at Optus Stadium in round one, the Dockers travel to face Gold Coast and host St Kilda before the first Western Derby of the year.   

 

"I know we're playing home, away, home and then a derby, so a snapshot of four weeks it's reasonably juicy for us in that it's somewhat favourable," Fyfe said.

"But most of the focus now is on North Melbourne next Sunday.

"We're hopeful of a winning season – more wins than losses – but we'll see as the season unfolds."