FORMER Western Bulldogs defender Michael Talia has been "shocked" by the amount of running at the Sydney Swans this pre-season, claiming his new teammates are "a lot fitter group" than his old side.
While Talia has quickly adapted to his surroundings at his new club, it's taken the 22-year-old some time to get used to the Swans' intense training workload.
"I've definitely noticed there's a lot more running - endurance-based running, I should say - here at Sydney," he told the club's website.
"The one thing that I've noticed the most is just the amount of running in between drills and that sort of stuff.
"So at the moment I'm still adjusting. I think I'm running pretty well, but that's probably the one main difference.
"It's been good, though. Across the board I think they're a lot fitter group down at Sydney."
While the workload has been tough, Talia hasn't had to face the challenge alone after settling in alongside his new housemate and fellow recruit Callum Sinclair.
"I still lived with mum and dad – it's a bit embarrassing I shouldn't be saying that – but I still lived with mum and dad up until my time here and the group have made it really easy," Talia said.
"I probably go out for dinner two or three times a week with all the boys, there's always something happening, I get a lot of texts from them on weekends and that sort of stuff.
"So they've been very welcoming, I couldn't have asked for much more, and they're definitely very hard working as well, as I said.
"The running side of it's been a bit of a shock to me and Cal, I know, so they're both hard working and very welcoming."
Talia, who last week sustained a compound fracture and dislocation of his finger that will restrict him from ball work until the New Year, was traded to the Swans while he was still the subject of an AFL investigation.
The young defender was accused of sharing game-sensitive information with his brother, Adelaide full-back Daniel, ahead of the Bulldogs-Crows elimination final. The fallout from the investigation and Talia's subsequent departure from the Dogs caused significant angst to members of their family.
However, Talia, who was eventually cleared, said he was "thankful" for his four years at the Kennel, added he had quickly tried to move on from the controversy into "a different chapter of my life".
"At the moment, my sole focus is just to earn the respect and build relationships with the guys here," said Talia, who was a lifelong Dogs supporter and played 30 games for the club.
"Obviously walking into a new environment, there's 40 new guys that you have to get to know, plus staff, so my sole focus from the start of the investigation was to move on from it.
"I adamantly denied any wrongdoing the whole time, so I know I'm definitely over the whole situation and looking forward to finishing off pre-season now heading into the Christmas break."