IF WILL Hayward's training intensity on Monday is anything the go by, the skillful Sydney forward is hungry to erase the memories of an injury-riddled 2019.
On the first morning of the Swans' pre-season camp in Coffs Harbour – in testing conditions for the players because of warm temperatures and some slight smoke haze from bushfires that are ravaging NSW – Hayward was a standout in a gruelling session that lasted almost three hours.
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Best known for his athleticism, speed and slick finishing in front of goal, it was the 21-year-old's physicality that earned him rapturous applause on multiple occasions from his teammates and coaches.
He's played 53 games over his first three seasons in the competition, but this is Hayward's first real pre-season campaign.
Hayward was ferocious with his tackling during competitive drills and when he had the footy, threw more than one fend-off that Richmond superstar Dustin Martin would be proud of.
At one stage, Hayward was physically ill after repeat efforts in a handball game but battled through his distress mid-drill to lay a huge tackle and cause a stoppage for his team.
Monster tackle from @Will_Hayward1 just one of many huge efforts at Swans’ Coffs Harbour session in warm conditions. Gun forward looks hungry after injury worries this year. More on @AFLcomau soon pic.twitter.com/ZYbyTRKPOR— Adam Curley (@AdamCurleyMedia) December 9, 2019
The young goalkicker's fierce attitude looks to be inspired by the frustration of his horror year, with a broken jaw and hip surgery limiting him to just 12 goals from 13 games as the Swans missed the finals for the first time under John Longmire.
Much was made of the absence of superstar teammate Lance Franklin (10 games) through injury last season, but a fit and healthy Hayward would also have made Sydney's forward half far more dangerous.
Franklin took part in most of Monday's session and was noticeably vocal, especially with his fellow forwards, before easing away from the main group to finish with some running.
The four-time Coleman medallist continues to look strong ahead of the Christmas break and plans to be in full training in January.
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Luke Parker, Aliir Aliir, Tom Papley, Sam Reid, Callum Sinclair and recruit Sam Gray were among the other Swans on lighter duties on Monday