The Crows have spent plenty of time on the training track under the watchful eye of new senior coach Matthew Nicks. Quick ball movement by foot and applying pressure to win back possession have been features of training, with the mouthguards having already made an appearance during match simulation.

Injury list
Tom Doedee: The defender is ticking every box in his return from a torn ACL suffered in round one. He's back in the main group, will integrate into full contact drills and is aiming to play in at least one game of the Marsh Community Series.

Shane McAdam: Was on a modified program after having calf and hamstring issues this year but is now back in the main group and completing full training.

Ned McHenry: Was eased into the pre-season but has increased training significantly in recent weeks and is back among the main group. Finished second in the Crows' 2km time trial in November. 

Andrew McPherson: Another who the Crows have taken a cautious approach with given his injury history. McPherson has ramped up his training loads in recent weeks.

Christmas Break
The Crows had their last day of training on Thursday, December 19, with the squad returning to pre-season training after the Christmas break on Friday, January 10.

Marsh Community Series
Saturday, February 22 v Melbourne @ Casey Fields
Friday, March 6 v Gold Coast @ Hickinbotham Oval, Noarlunga

And another thing…
Veteran Bryce Gibbs looks to be stationed across half-back next year. Gibbs – who was in and out of the side in 2019 - has played in defence during match simulation at training over the pre-season, with the Crows keen to use his elite foot skills out of the back half of the ground. – Lee Gaskin

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After playing in finals for the first time in a decade, it's a later start than usual for the Lions, but they haven't missed a beat. The entire playing list has been back together less than three weeks but with 90 per cent of the squad fully fit and healthy, they've slotted straight into running, drills and some modified match-play that has previously taken months to get to.

Injury list
Marcus Adams: The robust defender had a slow start to the pre-season as the club nursed him back from an end-of-season foot niggle. Adams resumed running a fortnight ago, looks super fit, and will be at full load in the new year. 

Grant Birchall: Not surprisingly the Lions are taking a cautious approach with the veteran former Hawk. Birchall had has persistent knee problems and a hamstring injury halted his 2019 season short. He is doing plenty of running but being modified in the team drills as his workload is slowly progressed. 

Allen Christensen: The only player currently not training, the small forward has undergone a minor surgery on his back and is expected to be back running after Christmas. 

Tom Joyce: The second-year midfielder had a shin problem at the end of last season and the Lions are being cautious with his workload. Joyce will continue to be monitored and re-assessed on return. 

Brisbane veteran Mitch Robinson feels the heat. Picture: Getty Images

Christmas break
Brisbane had its last session on Thursday and will resume on January 10. A week later they will head to Hobart for an eight-day training camp. It will be the fourth straight pre-season the Lions have gone to Tasmania. 

Marsh Community Series
Sunday, February 23 v Port Adelaide @ Moreton Bay Sports Complex, Burpengary
Sunday, March 8 v Carlton @ Ikon Park 

And another thing…
The race to fill the backline vacancy left by retired Luke Hodge is on. Although the Lions have done limited match simulation at this stage, Callum Ah Chee and Brandon Starcevich are staking early claims, and that's before Birchall has hit his straps. It'll be a battle well worth following in the new year. - Michael Whiting

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There has been a bigger on-field focus under new coach David Teague, with the Blues taking more meetings in between drills rather than in the sterile environment of club conference rooms. A large percentage of the playing group returned to the club earlier than asked, with high-performance boss Andrew Russell subsequently rapt with the group's current fitness levels. The Blues will return to Mooloolaba for a pre-season training camp in early February.

Injury list
Charlie Curnow: The important forward dislocated his kneecap playing basketball with friends, before fracturing the patella in the same knee falling on stairs a month later. He won't resume running before 2020, while he is now in danger of missing round one.

Caleb Marchbank: The intercept defender is finally out of a neck brace, having suffered a non-displaced fracture of his vertebrae in July. He is back running, but won't resume ball work until January. The club is confident he will play in the Marsh Community Series.

Harry McKay: The young forward suffered from groin soreness throughout last season, which flared up during his return to training. He has subsequently been placed on a modified program, though the club is expected to ramp up his duties after Christmas.

Sam Docherty: The co-captain finished his recovery from a second successive ACL injury with a trip to the United States to work with reconditioning expert Bill Knowles. Having dropped upper-body weight, he is now doing everything at training bar match simulation.

Brodie Kemp: The club's first pick in the NAB AFL Draft, the versatile Kemp is in rehab following a torn ACL sustained while playing for Geelong Grammar in July. The Blues will take a cautious approach to his recovery, though he is expected to resume running soon.

Liam Jones: Having missed a fair portion of last season with both concussion issues and a fractured larynx, the intercept defender returned to pre-season training alongside his younger teammates. He's enjoyed a solid summer and hasn't yet missed a beat.

Darcy Lang: After managing eight games last season, Lang finished the year early after he was sent for surgery on a troublesome ankle injury. The club brought forward the operation to ensure he started pre-season on time and has no concerns over his recovery.

Tom Williamson: Has played just two games in two years due to debilitating back injuries, but the Blues are confident he is finally progressing. He is completing two skills sessions per week, with the club keen to remain conservative with their talented young prospect.

Blues players swelter in the Melbourne heat during their last training session for 2019. Picture: Carlton Media

Christmas break
The Blues left for their three-week Christmas break on Thursday, December 19, before returning to the club on Friday, January 10. The group is expected to then resume full duties again the following week, before heading to Mooloolaba in early February.

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Marsh Community Series
Saturday, February 29 v Fremantle @ David Grays Arena, Mandurah
Sunday, March 8 v Brisbane @ Ikon Park 

And another thing…
The Blues could still be in the market for one more addition to their playing group. Ex-Dog Lukas Webb has remained with the squad in pre-season training at Ikon Park, despite missing out on a rookie spot at the NAB AFL Draft. Could he be a potential pre-season supplemental selection period (SSP) signing? - Riley Beveridge

New Carlton recruits Jack Martin and Eddie Betts get to work. Picture: AFL Photos


For a few years now the Magpies have used bash-and-crash competitive work from day one of their pre-season, and it was no exception this time around. New backline and team defence coach Matthew Boyd has taken to his new role with relish since replacing Justin Longmuir, who is now coaching Fremantle. It's believed Boyd has made only subtle tweaks to the system that has proved so successful over the past two years.

Injury list
Taylor Adams: After an injury-plagued season the important midfielder and leader sustained a lower left leg problem that required time in a moon boot. The Pies said it wasn't serious and it's believed he will be back in full training in the new year.

Midfielder Taylor Adams looks on at Collingwood training. Picture: Getty Images

Dayne Beams: The star midfielder has again stepped away from football to focus on his mental health issues and there is no time frame on his return. A sad end to a year in which he returned to the club and was also beset by hip and shoulder injuries and an adverse reaction to pain medication.

Jaidyn Stephenson: The young matchwinner is suffering a bout of glandular fever but it's believed to be only a mild case so it shouldn't disrupt his pre-season too much.

Tom Langdon: The flexible defender succumbed to a chronic cartilage injury in his right knee in round nine and two months later, after rest hadn't repaired it, underwent surgery. Yet to take to the track, he will be managed conservatively. Seems unlikely to play early.

Levi Greenwood: The Pies' iron man ruptured the anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee but was soon doing squats in the gym and running on the track. Slated to miss a sizeable chunk of next season but it wouldn't surprise if he slashes his recovery time.

Josh Daicos: The fringe midfielder/forward had post-season ankle surgery and has been building his running load. Aiming to train fully sometime in January.

Tom Phillips: The wingman ran the 2km time trial, finishing second to draftee Jay Rantall, but has been running with the rehab group of late.

Jamie Elliott: The small forward has trained only briefly over the past week or so, leaving the track early on one occasion and only completing the warm-up on another before heading indoors. Importantly, his hamstrings don't appear to be causing him trouble.

Isaac Quaynor: The youngster, whose promising debut season ended with a foot stress reaction and hip surgery, has been gradually increasing his fitness and should return to the main group in January.

Flynn Appleby: The defender, who missed a large chunk of the first half of the 2019 season with an ankle injury, has spent much of the pre-Christmas period in rehab.

Ben Reid: The veteran swingman, who is in terrific shape and appears a little leaner, is steadily building his footy fitness as he splits his time between working with the main group and running. The Pies aim to fortify him against the soft-tissue injuries that have plagued him.

Callum Brown: The small forward has been working with the rehab group in recent times but is running well and seems set to be reintegrated back into full training in the new year.

Will Kelly: The promising key-position prospect is on a restricted program after missing the bulk of the season with a serious hamstring tendon injury. Has been working with the forwards.

Chris Mayne: The veteran has missed several sessions recently but the time off the track won't hurt the 31-year-old, who has worked as hard as any Magpie over the past two years in his new role as a defensive role player.

Jordan De Goey: The budding superstar has been following an individual program as he slowly builds his training loads after suffering hamstring and lower-leg issues. Is running well and seems to have lost a couple of kilos.

Nathan Murphy: After his second season was ruined by a long-term back injury, the classy runner has been an impressive performer on the track and could press his claims early in the season.

Lynden Dunn: The veteran full-back was delisted but is poised to be rookie-listed in the pre-season supplemental selection period. Recovering from back-to-back ACL injuries in his left knee, he has been getting the miles into his legs and will be eyeing an early-season return.

Christmas break
The Magpies left for their break on Thursday, December 19 and will resume on Thursday, January 9. After enjoying training camps on the Gold Coast for the past few years they have decided to remain at home this year. 

Marsh Community Series
Sunday, March 1 v Richmond @ Norm Minns Oval, Wangaratta 
Sunday, March 8 v St Kilda @ Morwell Recreation Reserve, Morwell 

And another thing…
Are the Magpies toying with the idea of recasting veteran small forward Travis Varcoe as a defender? The 31-year-old speedster, who was dropped four times this year, has looked assured in the back half in match simulation. - Ben Collins

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The long injury list at Essendon has made for some different circumstances in the club's pre-Christmas training, with younger players having to lead the way as most of the senior group are sidelined. New assistant coach Blake Caracella, who has been a key part of Richmond's premiership success, has been working on the Bombers' attacking game style as senior assistant Ben Rutten oversees much of Essendon's planning.

Injury list
Patrick Ambrose: The defender suffered a minor tweak of his calf during his break, but he has started running again since being back at the Bombers and it shouldn't interrupt his preparations too much.

Joe Daniher: Daniher hasn't yet rejoined training with the main group after groin surgery this year wrecked his season. The club is taking a cautious approach with no guarantees he will be ready to go by the start of next season.

Sam Draper: Draper is returning from a knee reconstruction he underwent in April last year. He is running at training at a brisk pace and the ruckman will be aiming for an early season comeback at VFL level.

Orazio Fantasia: The hip injury that restricted Fantasia in the second half of last season required surgery and has made for some time on the sidelines this pre-season. He is running well and expected to join in full training post-Christmas.

Noah Gown: A setback for the young key forward who last week fractured a metatarsal in his foot, a reoccurrence of an injury he had last season in his first year at the club. Likely to be sidelined for a fair chunk of the new year.

Dyson Heppell: Underwent surgery on his foot injury at the end of the year and has been restricted to minimal training of late, but has been integrating back into the group work. 

Dyson Heppell has spent most of his pre-season on a stationary bike. Picture: AFL Photos

Cale Hooker: The key defender had a hip arthroscopy last week after recurring pain with the injury post-season. He is expected to be back running in January.

Michael Hurley: After shoulder surgery at the end of last season Hurley has been able to keep running and is in good shape heading into the break. He isn't yet in full contact training but looks well placed to join in after Christmas.

Dylan Shiel: A meniscus issue with his knee was attended to in the off-season and has meant that the star midfielder's pre-season has been limited at stages to start. Should be back into the swing of things fully in January.

James Stewart: Essendon sent Stewart, with Daniher, for extra rehabilitation on their respective groin injuries post-season. The key forward didn't play a senior game last season and is also not being rushed through his injury.

David Zaharakis: The ankle injury that ended Zaharakis' season late in the year had required follow-up surgery, putting him behind the main Bombers' group. But after a couple of weeks of running his right knee had swelling and he needed surgery on a tear to his meniscus.

Christmas break
The Bombers had their last session for the year on Wednesday, and will be back Friday, January 10.

Marsh Community Series
Friday, February 28 v West Coast @ Mineral Resources Park  
Monday, March 9 v Geelong @ Morwell Reserve 

And another thing…
The Bombers will take on a longer pre-season camp for the first time in several years when they head to Coffs Harbour for a week in late January. In previous seasons they have spent a couple of days in Barwon Heads in coastal Victoria for as their pre-season getaway but next year will lock in more training time in Queensland. - Callum Twomey

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New Dockers coach Justin Longmuir is over two months into the role and is now implementing his new gameplan at training. There has been a huge emphasis on skills and the former Collingwood backline coach is big on empowering his players and encouraging them to play on instinct. 

Injury list
Nat Fyfe: The superstar Dockers skipper had right shoulder surgery during the off-season but has progressed well and will be in full contact training in the new year.

Stefan Giro: The 20-year-old midfielder tore the ACL in his left knee during a WAFL match in June. He is a long-term member of the rehab group and is progressing as expected.

Liam Henry: The No.9 draft pick and NGA member injured his kneecap playing school footy in August. He is on a modified program until the new year.

Stephen Hill: Had a shocking run with calf and quad injuries in 2019 but has been looking good in full training with the main group for the past few weeks.

Jesse Hogan: Re-injured his troublesome right foot in round 14 and later had season-ending surgery. Now running 10km a session and Longmuir is happy with his progress.

Rory Lobb: The star ruckman/forward had season-ending left shoulder surgery in August but is back in full training with the main group.

Lloyd Meek: The 21-year old ruck prospect's 2019 season ended after injuring his foot in the final minutes of a WAFL game in round 12. Back in full training.

David Mundy: Suffered a broken leg in a freak accident while riding a bike with his kids. He requires non weight-bearing immobilisation for at least a month and the club is unsure how long he will be sidelined for.

Alex Pearce: Suffered a season-ending left ankle injury in round 11. The star defender needed more surgery at the start of this month and he isn't expected to start training until late February.

Matt Taberner: The key forward is back in full training after he suffered a stress fracture in his left foot in May which ruled him out for the rest of the season.

Luke Valente: Remains in the rehab group after battling an ongoing groin injury which only saw him manage seven League games for Peel.

Nathan Wilson: Had toe surgery after the injury saw him miss the final month of the season. Remains in the rehab group but is progressing well.

Christmas break
The players' last day was Friday, December 20 and they will get over three weeks off before returning on Monday, January 13. There are no plans for a pre-season camp, after heading to the Gold Coast last year.

Marsh Community Series
Saturday, February 29 v Carlton @ David Grays Arena, Mandurah
Saturday, March 7 v West Coast @ HBF Arena, Joondalup

And another thing…
Longmuir begins each training session with a new ritual - cracking a joke. Recruit James Aish said "they're normally pretty average but he'll get a few laughs." - Chris Correia

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The introduction of veteran duo in ex-Saints midfielder Jack Steven and former Crows forward Josh Jenkins has been an exercise in familiarisation for both players and their respective line groups. Steven has been working particularly hard on improving his conditioning and touch work after a considerable time out of the game this year due to his mental health issues, while Jenkins is working to find a niche in attack alongside Tom Hawkins and Esava Ratugolea.

Injury list
Joel Selwood: The Cats' inspirational skipper, who this year managed hamstring tendinitis that necessitated minor surgery in early November, is expected to start running in January before graduating to full training in February.

Mitch Duncan: The banged-up midfielder had hoped to be back in full training before Christmas after recovering from a medial ligament injury in his left knee that ended his finals series and off-season shoulder surgery, but a minor hip operation won't allow him to resume running until January.

Jordan Clark: The Cats are yet to set a date for the second-year runner to return to contact work after elbow surgery, but he is doing everything else including running and ball work.

Jake Kolodjashnij: The backman's pre-season campaign has been limited by a groin injury and isn't expected to join the main group until February.

Nakia Cockatoo: The injury-prone speedster, who is sporting an eye-catching mullet-and-moustache combo, is training well in the main group but the optimism is tempered by the fact the 23-year-old hasn't played at AFL level since round three, 2018.

Christmas break
The Cats downed tools for the festive season on Wednesday and will return on Thursday, January 9. They don't have any camps planned at this stage.

Marsh Community Series
Saturday, February 22 v Gold Coast @ Metricon Stadium
Monday, March 9 v Essendon @ Colac

And another thing…
Ultra-versatile Mark Blicavs was again superb in defence this season before Cats coach Chris Scott raised eyebrows by using him as a ruckman and a wingman in the finals. However, the dual club champion has been training as a defender this pre-season. – Ben Collins

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With the same coaching staff and high-performance team as last year, it's been much of the same for the Suns' 2019 pre-season. Although they now have 51 players to accommodate, a big focus has again been on getting them physically right. There's noticeably a bigger band of strong runners compared to previous years, which will only be helped by the draftees. 

Injury list
Sam Collins: Following hip surgery last May, Collins struggled to recover and missed the rest of the season. Like fellow defender Rory Thompson, has been limited in his running but will ramp up significantly after Christmas.

Brayden Fiorini: Is still not quite back to full training following groin surgery. Fiorini has a strong base over the past couple of years and should be back with the full squad when they return in January.

Ball work for Brayden Fiorini. Picture: AFL Photos

Nick Holman: Required off-season back surgery to fix an ongoing problem. Holman began running (on the Alter-G treadmill) in early November and has slowly built that up. He should join the main group in a few weeks.

Anthony Miles: Sustained an ankle ligament injury in round 21 that has slowed down his pre-season. Miles has been able to get his running volume in, but not compete in any drills yet. That will change in the new year.

Wil Powell: A small knee complaint has slightly restricted Powell's pre-season. He's one of the club's best runners, though, and like the rest of the rehab group, will be back to max capacity in the next month.

Rory Thompson: Coming off his ruptured anterior cruciate ligament, Thompson is being nursed back to health. He's done basic running and kicking drills and the club will re-evaluate his progress after the break.

Christmas break
Gold Coast has just spent five days near Queenstown in New Zealand's South Island on a pre-season training camp. They returned on Friday and headed directly to their Christmas break and will resume on January 10.

Marsh Community Series
Saturday, February 22 v Geelong @ Metricon Stadium
Friday, March 6 v Adelaide @ Flinders University Stadium 

And another thing…
The 'mystery pre-training camp running session' is becoming a thing. The day before heading to New Zealand the Suns churned out 102 reps of 100m, leaving every minute and holding around 15 seconds each rep. Last year at the corresponding session they were scheduled to do three one-kilometre reps at maximum effort. That turned into four, then five, then six, and eventually seven. Wonder what 2020 will have in store? - Michael Whiting

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Footy boss Wayne Campbell and head of athletic performance David Joyce both moved on in the off-season, along with senior assistant coach Matthew Nicks, who is now in charge of Adelaide. The Giants have a camp in Noosa to finish their pre-Christmas phase, which included plenty of team bonding on and off the sand. 

Injury list
Stephen Coniglio: The new skipper is in full training after his 2019 season was ruined by a knee injury, with surgery causing him to miss the club's Grand Final run.

Matt Flynn: The young ruckman is recovering from ACL surgery mid-season and has started running on the Alter-G machine. He's likely to be ready to return to the field in June or July.

Callan Ward: The star midfielder is running on grass and doing some change of direction drills as he recovers from ACL surgery, and is set to build into full training in January. A chance to play round one.

Callan Ward tests out his knee during a gruelling pre-season training session. Picture: AFL Photos

Lachie Whitfield: The gun Giant had ankle surgery the week after the Grand Final but is already into his running program and will increase his training in January.

Christmas break
The Giants finished the pre-Christmas training phase last Monday after spending a few days on the Sunshine Coast and will return on Monday, January 6. 

Marsh Community Series
Saturday, February 29 v Sydney @ Blacktown International Sportspark 
Sunday, March 8 v Richmond @ Robertson Oval, Wagga Wagga 

And another thing…
With veteran Brett Deledio retired and back in Melbourne, defender Sam Reid has spent some time helping out coach Alan McConnell with the Giants' AFLW side on a part-time basis. - Adam Curley

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There was a big focus on conditioning during this week's camp in Mooloolaba. The camp fairly closely simulated the Melbourne-based program of big sessions on Monday, Wednesday and Friday, with lots of rest and recovery in between. There's also been a priority on integrating new arrivals Will Day, Finn Maginness, Josh Morris, Michael Hartley, Emerson Jeka and Harry Pepper.

Injury list
Conor Glass: Has moved into full skills training after being on a modified program early in the pre-season, including lap running and boxing.

Harry Jones: The promising midfielder was pushing for senior selection before suffering a posterior cruciate ligament injury in the VFL in mid-July. A noted hard trainer, he ran for the first time since a fortnight ago and is progressing well.

Jarman Impey: Impey is now five months post his ACL operation on his right knee and has started running on the AlterG anti-gravity treadmill. The Hawks will be cautious with him but he's been diligent with his rehabilitation.

Mitch Lewis: Had a shoulder reconstruction post-season after missing the final two games and has re-joined the ball program but in open and non-contact drills. Will graduate to full training at some stage in January.

Jaeger O'Meara: Like last pre-season, O'Meara is completing a personalised program as part of the ongoing management with his knees.

Tom Mitchell: The 2018 Brownlow medallist took a positive step in Mooloolaba, where he started to integrate into full skills and will steadily increase his involvement post-Christmas.

Conor Nash: Nash was on a slightly modified program leading into Christmas but was still involved at different stages in match simulation and other elements of training.

Christmas break
The Hawks head off for the Christmas break on Saturday and return to the club on Monday, January 13. They split their pre-season camp in two for this pre-season, spending six days in Mooloolaba over the past week and another six in Tasmania in early February.

Marsh Community Series
Thursday, February 20 v St Kilda @ RSEA Park
Friday, March 6 v Melbourne @ University of Tasmania Stadium

And another thing…
Hawthorn's playing group spent five days on 'work experience' in late November, completing training before and after in a throwback to the part-time days of the VFL/AFL. Captain Ben Stratton worked with homeless youth, James Worpel spent his time at a youth justice centre and Chad Wingard took part in some Indigenous mentoring. – Marc McGowan

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The arrival of respected high-performance boss Darren Burgess has ensured a stronger focus on fitness this summer. Burgess has taken a different approach to building loads than in recent years, implementing more ball work to mimic match situations rather than simply having his players run laps. Saturday morning running sessions are also being completed by the Dees, which is additional to their normal training loads. The club will ramp up its 2020 preparations when it heads to Maroochydore for a pre-season training camp in late January.

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Injury list
Adam Tomlinson: The club's new recruit has been restricted to walking laps this summer as he overcomes a strained calf that he suffered during the off-season. He is yet to re-join the main group, though the Demons expect him to return early after the Christmas break.

Charlie Spargo: The young forward hurt his ankle during a skills session upon returning to pre-season training and hasn't been doing much since. Although he is still out of action, the club hopes he will eventually rejoin the main group early in the new year.

Kade Kolodjashnij: Ongoing concussion issues have disrupted his Melbourne career, limiting the wingman to just two senior games in his maiden season with the club. He is completing running drills at training, but is highly unlikely to resume contact drills until January.

Mitch Hannan: Won't rejoin the main group until after Christmas, having suffered a groin injury that ruined his 2019 campaign. He is still completing light duties at training and remains with the rehab group, but is expected to step up his recovery in January.

Neville Jetta: After his 2019 season was ruined by a knee injury that restricted him to just seven games last year, Jetta is back on the track and looks primed to again be an important part of Melbourne's backline. He's in full training once again and looks fully fit.

Neville Jetta looks to be back to full fitness. Picture: AFL Photos

Steven May: Despite playing just eight games in his first season with the Dees, the experienced key defender returned to training early and has credited yoga for his fitness levels, having dropped about five kilos. The groin and hamstring issues he dealt with last season appear to be in the past.

Tom McDonald: The forward had surgery to repair a torn meniscus that ended his 2019 campaign early, but has returned to the track and is taking part in every major drill. The Dees have no concerns over his fitness and expect him to be raring to go next season.

Aaron Nietschke: It's horror news for the youngster, who will miss his second successive season after rupturing his ACL again earlier this month. He'll likely be sidelined for the entirety of 2020, having already missed all of 2019 after first hurting his knee in February.

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Aaron vandenBerg: Foot and lower leg injuries have cruelled the hard-nosed midfielder, who has played just seven senior games in three years. However, after another horror campaign last season, he is taking part in most drills this summer and looks relatively fit.

Sam Weideman: It was a rough year last season for the key forward, who battled hip injuries and a broken jaw that finished his campaign prematurely. However, he has since returned to the track and is taking part in every major drill. His fitness is no concern.

Christmas break
The club completed its final training session before heading for its Christmas break on Thursday, December 19. The Demons will enjoy a three-week break, before returning on Friday, January 10. They head to Maroochydore for a pre-season camp later next month. 

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Marsh Community Series
Saturday, February 22 v Adelaide @ Casey Fields
Friday, March 6 v Hawthorn @ University of Tasmania Stadium

And another thing...
Promising young key position player Harrison Petty appears set to remain a forward in 2020. Having switched to an attacking role late last year, finishing the campaign with six goals from five games, the 197cm option has stayed with the forwards group during pre-season training. Expect him to partner Tom McDonald and Sam Weideman in attack next year. - Riley Beveridge

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Rhyce Shaw's first pre-season in charge since replacing Brad Scott as senior coach has certainly been different. The Kangaroos use their big screen at Arden Street to keep score in match simulation, explain drills and for the 'shot clock' that times every activity. Players are conditioned to a siren sounding when the shot clock expires, and they typically respond by bolting back to coach Shaw. The coach is getting his hands dirty, too, involving himself in match simulation and running drills. 

Injury list
Majak Daw: Daw's serious hip and pelvic injuries are largely behind him but the hamstring setback that prematurely ended his season – four games into his comeback – means he remains on a modified, preventative program.

Kyron Hayden: Suffered a season-ending left Achilles injury in his AFL debut in late June and his rehabilitation has been long and precautionary. Ran this week for the first time since the injury occurred.

Ben Jacobs: Remains indefinitely out but is doing some running, and the Roos' medical staff are again labelling what Jacobs is going through as concussion-like symptoms. However, his complex issues are also to his nose and neck.

Luke McDonald: Fractured the fibula near the ankle on his right leg in mid-July and is still on the road to recovery. Resumed light run-throughs in late November and has steadily increased his intensity since, on top of swimming with Ed Vickers-Willis and Will Walker.

Tom Murphy: Ankle injuries plagued Murphy's 2019 season and the sweet-kicking defender is easing his way back into the pre-season as a result but is on the improve.

Flynn Perez: The fresh draftee suffered an anterior cruciate ligament tear in a Vic Country under-18 training camp in December last year. Should resume full training shortly after the Christmas break.

Dom Tyson: A persistent calf problem ruined Tyson's first season at Arden Street but it was a left shoulder dislocation that ended it. He underwent surgery in late August and will look to increase his output post-Christmas.

Ed Vickers-Willis: Had a setback in November in his ACL recovery and underwent an arthroscopy to fix some issues causing discomfort. Has focused on strengthening his left knee but will increase his training loads after Christmas, although a playing return date is unclear.

Will Walker: Missed all of 2019 after developing a stress reaction in his left tibia in February. That followed him suffering low-grade PCL damage, a compression fracture of the tibia and a joint capsule tear six months earlier. Is running again and targeting a return to full training in late January or early February. 

Jack Ziebell: Has been on a modified program up to Christmas, similar to the one he had after the break at the start of this year, following his calf issues. The plan is to keep him fresh and avoid him doing too much too early.

Christmas Break
The Roos break for the year on Saturday and will resume on Monday, January 13. They already attended a training camp at Mornington and don't have another one planned for the new year. 

Marsh Community Series
Friday, February 21 v Western Bulldogs @ Marvel Stadium
Monday, March 9 v Sydney @ Kingston Twin Oval, Tasmania

And another thing…
North Melbourne's leadership group has barely changed in recent years but could an emerging midfielder be about to shake things up? Jy Simpkin, who is preparing for his fourth season at AFL level, is keen to be a club leader and his wish might come true sooner rather than later. - Marc McGowan

FULL FIXTURE Every round, every game


The Power have had an increased focus on working on their skills during the pre-season compared to previous years. Conditioning has still been a focus, especially during their gruelling training camp on the Sunshine Coast before the Christmas break. 

Injury list
Karl Amon: The classy runner had minor knee surgery at the end of last season. Amon's completed the entire pre-season and is again leading the running at the club, taking out the 3x1km time trial.

Travis Boak: The reigning best and fairest had a minor shoulder operation at the end of last season. Boak spent time training in the US in the off-season and is back into full training.

Zak Butters: The impressive youngster had a shoulder operation at the end of last season. He's been outstanding in the running, among the best at the club, and has gradually worked his way back into contact training.

Wylie Buzza: The former Cat was on modified training at the Power's training camp on the Sunshine Coast due to groin soreness.

Port Adelaide players take part in a handball drill during training in Queensland. Picture: Port Adelaide Football Club

Willem Drew: Had surgery in November to repair a stress fracture in his left foot after pulling up sore during pre-season training. The midfielder has returned to modified training and will get back to full training early in the new year.

Hamish Hartlett: The Power vice-captain is almost back to full training having had an arthroscopy on his knee at the end of last season. Tore his ACL in 2018 and returned to play 11 senior games this year.

Steven Motlop: The experienced half-forward had a minor knee operation at the end of last season. Motlop's completed all of the pre-season training.

Jake Patmore: The young forward/midfielder is almost back to full training after tearing the ACL in his left knee in a pre-season game in March.

Tom Rockliff: The midfielder underwent latarjet shoulder surgery in September. Has gotten through a mountain of running, will return to contact work in the new year and has declared he'll be ready for round one.

Jack Watts: Continuing to build his training loads after a serious leg injury in round two. Returned to training with the Power's younger players and has got through a mountain of running.

Christmas break
The Power head off on their Christmas break on Wednesday, December 18 after returning from their Sunshine Coast camp. They will resume training on Wednesday, January 8. 

Marsh Community Series
Sunday, February 23 v Brisbane @ Moreton Bay Sports Complex, Burpengary
Saturday, March 7 v Western Bulldogs @ Bennett Oval, Whyalla

And another thing…
Veteran swingman Justin Westhoff looks set to be used permanently in defence in 2020. Westhoff – who won the club's best and fairest in 2018 playing on a wing - has been training with the defenders to provide depth in that area. – Lee Gaskin

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As reigning premier, the Tigers had a relatively late return to training, with senior players only starting back at the beginning of December. They're consequently quite some way off match simulation. There's been one major change in the coaching ranks, with VFL premiership coach Craig McRae replacing the departed Blake Caracella as an assistant. 

Injury list 
Jake Aarts: Was carrying a minor groin injury during the VFL finals series and has been eased back to training. Looking like re-joining the main group after Christmas.

Shai Bolton: Needed a small shoulder clean-up during the off-season and is now set to resume contact work.

Luke English: In a very similar situation to Aarts, but with an Achilles complaint. 

Jack Graham: Had a shoulder reconstruction after his preliminary final heroics. Has returned to moderate-pace running, and is aiming to be back in contact work by the start of February.

Jack Graham feels the pinch in a tough training session. Picture: AFL Photos

Dylan Grimes: Needed a minor wrist cleanout following the end of the season, but the operation was delayed for his wedding. Back doing skills work.

Bachar Houli: After a comparatively injury-free 2019, the soft-tissue injury-prone Houli suffered a minor calf strain over the off-season. Given his history, the club is being cautious and he will return to full training post-Christmas.

Jack Higgins: Has been on a part-time program following his second bout of surgery on a brain bleed, and took some time away from the club separate to the off-season. Is now ready to return and will be gradually integrated into the main program over the new year.

Toby Nankervis: Required another surgery on his troublesome groin/adductor region over the off-season, after the muscle tendon which was operated on mid-year needed to be reattached again. Another one being treated cautiously, he's back running and will gradually build.

Dion Prestia: The club's best and fairest carried Achilles tendinitis into the AFL finals series and so was given time "off legs" during his holidays. Has gradually built his running loads and is very close to rejoining the main group.

Alex Rance: Was on track to make a return to full training in the new year and take part in the Marsh Community Series, but shocked the football world when he announced his retirement on Thursday, effective immediately. At this point, will stay on the list for the 2020 season.

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Christmas break
Players finished up on Friday and will return on January 13. Gold Coast will once again be the destination for the 2020 pre-season camp, held in late January. 

Marsh Community Series
Sunday, March 1 v Collingwood @ Norm Minns Oval, Wangaratta
Sunday, March 8 v GWS @ Robertson Oval, Wagga Wagga 

And another thing…
Jack Ross impressed as a contested ball-winner in his first season, but is looking to add to his outside game in 2020. He has slimmed down in a bid to add to his game, with the club believing his clean ball use will be of benefit breaking from packs. – Sarah Black


When still in caretaker mode, new senior coach Brett Ratten made his intention clear at his final press conference for the 2019 season, declaring foot skills and ball movement needed drastic improvement. The Saints have already been moving into match simulation mode (albeit modified), using umpires and playing on smaller, marked-out "ovals" at Moorabbin to help work in close.

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Injury list
Logan Austin: Underwent shoulder surgery in April, ruling him out for the season, but has been back on deck for quite some time.

Jack Bytel: Missed the entire 2019 season – his first on an AFL list – after back surgery and is now looking in great condition ahead of 2020.

Nick Coffield: Dislocated his shoulder in round 21 and underwent an operation to repair it. Is yet to resume contact work.

Jarryn Geary: The skipper had a nightmare 2019, undergoing emergency surgery on a corkie to release the pressure which had built up, only to fracture his leg upon return. Is back in training, but as a veteran, on an individual plan.

Nick Hind: Had wrist surgery post-season and is back in training.

Dean Kent: After seriously injuring his quad at training in June and having an operation, Kent is back to full health.

Max King: Suffered a syndesmosis ankle injury mid-year which ended his season, but is back in full training.

Ben Long: Another one who needed wrist surgery after round 23, but is back training.

Ben Long competes in St Kilda's 3km time trial. Picture: AFL Photos

Dylan Roberton: Has been given the green light to return to full training after nearly two years on the sidelines with a heart issue. Is now on medication to regulate his heart, as well as having an internal defibrillator in his chest.

Jack Steele: Is on running duties after having surgery on his kneecap, which he dislocated mid-year, with an eye to returning to contact work in the new year.

Jimmy Webster: Is gradually working off back tightness that has recently restricted him to running.

Christmas Break
The Saints went on leave on Friday and will return on January 11. The team already had their pre-season camp in Barwon Heads on the west coast of Victoria in early December.

Marsh Community Series
Thursday, February 20 v Hawthorn @ RSEA Park 
Sunday, March 8 v Collingwood @ Morwell Reserve

And another thing…
The Saints have seemed to employ a new tactic to bring the fun (and discipline) to training. Occasionally, the last players to reach the team huddle at the conclusion of a drill having to take part in a piggy-back wrestling war, the type usually played out in a swimming pool. – Sarah Black



In terms of list health, the Swans are in fantastic shape compared to previous seasons, thanks to missing the finals for the first time under John Longmire and some early surgeries. Longmire has shuffled his assistant coaching roles with Dean Cox taking charge of most of the training at a recent camp in Coffs Harbour.

Injury list
Harry Cunningham: Groin surgery ended his year early, but the speedster is moving well and shouldn't be far away from joining full training early in January.

Lance Franklin: The superstar forward has been held back slightly before the Christmas break, but he's fully fit and looking strong. The Swans will continue to monitor the veteran but he's set to begin 2020 in full training.

Lance Franklin is looking in top shape ahead of season 2020. Picture: AFL Photos

Sam Gray: Working his way back to full fitness from shoulder surgery and still not cleared for full contact but should increase his competitive work in the new year.

Will Hayward: The young forward is flying after having hip surgery mid-season. He's in full training and in fantastic shape.

Jack Maibaum: Recovering from ACL surgery and still restricted with his training after being re-drafted as a rookie.

Sam Naimsith: The ruckman is still building his training after his knee issues but looks to be moving well. The Swans will be cautious and look to increase his work in January.

Colin O'Riordan: Another Swan to have groin surgery late in the season, the quick defender is training well. Should be cleared for full training in the new year.

Tom Papley: A shoulder reconstruction has delayed his training pre-Christmas but he's in excellent shape and should be cleared for contact work in January.

Tom Papley has set his sights on becoming one of the best small forwards in the AFL. Picture: AFL Photos

Callum Sinclair: On a limited program before the break because of his mid-season shoulder surgery. Doing a power of running alongside superstar teammate Lance Franklin. 

Christmas break
Sydney broke for the end-of-year shutdown on Thursday and players will come back to the club for the new year on January 10. 

Marsh Community Series
Saturday, February 29 v Greater Western Sydney @ Blacktown International Sportspark 
Monday, March 9 v North Melbourne @ Kingston Twin Ovals, Tasmania 

And another thing…
Fans and commentators might have a tough time watching the Swans this year, with Gray and this year's leading goalkicker Papley sure to cause some headaches. The two small forwards could pass as twins. - Adam Curley


Marquee recruit Tim Kelly didn't waste any time getting to know his new teammates, joining in with the club's first to fourth year players on their first day back on November 18. The Eagles have trained solidly during the pre-season, culminating in a week-long camp at Dunsborough in the south-west of WA before the Christmas break.

Injury list
Brayden Ainsworth: The young midfielder has resumed skills work after going under the knife for hamstring surgery in September.

Oscar Allen: The promising key forward is completing most of training on a managed program after having minor knee surgery in the off-season.

Tom Barrass: The Eagles are confident the defender will be ready for the start of next season. He underwent foot surgery in early December and was expected to miss eight weeks.

Defender Tom Barrass is expected to be fit for the start of next season. Picture: AFL Photos

Jarrod Brander: Has resumed skills work after having hamstring tendon surgery in August. The young forward played two AFL games and 11 WAFL matches in 2019.

Jarrod Cameron: Is getting through a power of running after experiencing groin problems at the end of last season. The small forward is expected to join the main group early next year.

Jeremy McGovern: The All-Australian defender is expected to be available for the Marsh Community Series. Underwent heel surgery in November.

Christmas break
The Eagles were one of the first clubs to start their Christmas break, going on leave from the club on Friday, December 13. They will be returning to training on Monday, January 6. 

Marsh Community Series
Friday, February 28 v Essendon @ Mineral Resources Park 
Saturday, March 7 v Fremantle @ HBF Arena, Joondalup

And another thing…
The Eagles are considering handing ex-GWS and Carlton small forward Jarrod Pickett an AFL lifeline. Isaya McKenzie, from SANFL club Central Districts, has also been training with the Eagles with the hope of getting picked up in supplemental selection period as uncertainty remains over the future of Willie Rioli. - Lee Gaskin

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The young, hungry Dogs have thrived on an earlier than usual introduction of ball work, high-intensity contact work and match simulation. Senior assistant coach Steven King has taken on more responsibility this pre-season in a more overarching role after stepping away from the defensive systems and backline briefs. The standard of their sessions is expected to improve further as several talented players return to full training in the January-February period.

Injury list
Aaron Naughton: The young high-flyer is progressing well after receiving surgery to the lateral ligament in his left knee, which buckled during the elimination final loss to Greater Western Sydney. He's running strongly and will join full training in January.

Alex Keath: The former Crows defender underwent surgery to repair a lower-leg stress fracture but has impressed with his commitment to his rehabilitation, which has gone smoothly so far. Has increased his running loads, is joining in some ball drills and should be training fully by mid-January.

Tom Liberatore: The onballer received a knee operation for a lingering problem and has been rebuilding his strength in and around the joint. The Dogs hope he will join the main group by the end of January.

Lachie Hunter: The new vice-captain is making solid progress after a post-season shoulder reconstruction. Is running well and training strongly in ball work but isn't expected to start contact work until mid-January.

Mitch Wallis: The respected team man's season ended in round 10 with an ankle injury but he has put the issue well and truly behind and he is one of the standouts on the track.

Taylor Duryea: The left-footed defender underwent groin surgery and is tracking well in his recovery, which will be a lengthy process. He is expected to start running again in January before progressing to football drills in February.

Riley Garcia: The West Australian draftee will be sidelined for the bulk of next season as he recovers from a knee reconstruction. In the meantime he plans to add some muscle in the gym.

Christmas break
Before they broke for the festive season on Thursday, December 19, the Dogs had a three-day training camp at Cape Schanck, which included a series of physical and psychological challenges on the beach. They will resume training on Monday, January 13 before embarking on their now annual pre-season camp to Mooloolaba on Queensland's Sunshine Coast from January 22-31.

Western Bulldogs players ventured to Portsea on Victoria's Mornington Peninsula for pre-season training. Picture: AFL Photos

Marsh Community Series
Friday, February 21 v North Melbourne @ Marvel Stadium
Saturday, March 7 v Port Adelaide @ Bennett Oval, Whyalla 

And another thing…
Jason Johannisen has always turned heads, whether it be with his dazzling speed and skills or an outlandish hairstyle. This pre-season he has introduced a new fashion accessory, a fluorescent orange headband – and it has proved a hit at Whitten Oval. - Ben Collins

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