PERTH-BASED Hawk Jaeger O'Meara is staying game ready with daily ocean swims and demanding workouts at his sister's home – while using his extra time to learn Italian.

The 26-year-old returned to his home state two days after Hawthorn's rousing 28-point round one win over Brisbane at the MCG, during which the AFL placed its season on hold.

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O'Meara and teammate Damon Greaves both elected to dash west to beat the border restrictions, whereas skipper Ben Stratton, another West Australian, remained in Victoria.

Rookie-listed defender Greaves is his training partner for the skills sessions designed for them by club coaches, although O'Meara made sure to say: "We're keeping our social distance."

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The ex-Sun spent all of the 2015 and 2016 seasons and most of the next year – his first at the Hawks – on the sidelines with recurring knee problems, so he's used to these frustrating periods. 

"It's a very bizarre time but essentially it's out of our control," he told

"I obviously spent two years out of the game with injury and it's stressful for everyone but I feel most for the guys in our admin. We've had to lay off, I think, 80 per cent of our staff.

"I hope when we get back to playing footy they'll all get their jobs back, and it's going to be an exciting time when footy does come back.

"But, at the moment, there's some more important stuff going on in the world, so to be honest I'm not too worried about football."

There is little chance O'Meara will lose conditioning in the AFL shutdown.

 He's rising early to complete three running and skills sessions each week across Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, as well as doing his leg weights on those days.

O'Meara rounds out his weekly routine with upper-body workouts on Tuesdays and Thursdays, plus mixing in ocean swims and some "F45-type" training sessions in his sister's home gym.

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Outside of his training dedication, Hawthorn's new co-vice-captain is plugging away at his online business degree, cooking, spending rare time with his sister Jahni, and learning Italian. 

The inspiration to learn a new language goes well beyond his close friend Stephen Coniglio's heritage.

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"I've got a couple of Italian friends and I love Italy," O'Meara said.

"I've travelled there a bit and I'd love to do a bit more, so I thought Italian would be a good one to do.

"It's very early days – I started only late last week – so I'm just learning the basics and I need to go back and rehash those but I'm hoping by the end of this it will be something I can continue. 

"I might even actually attend some proper classes when I get back to Melbourne."


  1. Make sure you train in the morning, because your motivation wavers the longer you leave it.
  2. Find a fitness app that offers training programs, such as Hollywood star Chris Hemsworth's Centr, which is free for the first six weeks.
  3. Don't have weights? Make do with anything you can find, whether it's books or a bag of rice, or alternatively do bodyweight exercises.