MANY of the AFL's younger players hit the track on Monday and were welcomed back with a 2km time trial to kickstart their pre-season.
At Waverley Park, father-son Hawk Finn Maginness showed off his impressive endurance abilities with a second consecutive time-trial crown, while at North Melbourne new recruit Jaidyn Stephenson took part but it was gun midfielder Jy Simpkin who stole the show with a comfortable win.
Gold Coast's Josh Corbett crushed the field in his club's time trial, and Jack Bowes, Noah Anderson, Connor Budarick and Izak Rankine all caught the eye.
Maginness, the son of two-time premiership defender Scott Maginness, led the way at Hawthorn ahead of Changkuoth Jiath, with Dylan Moore – fresh off rejoining the club as a rookie – coming in third.
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Other senior players at the Hawks' training session included veteran Shaun Burgoyne, Chad Wingard, Tom Mitchell and Jarman Impey.
At North Melbourne, new recruit and former Bulldog Lachie Young made a strong first impression, finishing second.
Luke Davies-Uniacke, Bailey Scott and Curtis Taylor rounded out the top five, all under the watchful eye of new coach David Noble.
In Sydney, re-listed rookie Robbie Fox retained his mantle as the club's best endurance runner, winning the 2km time trial ahead of Matt Ling and Ben Ronke.
Several of the Swans' big-name veterans including Lance Franklin and Sam Reid joined the younger players on the track at Lakeside Oval on the first day of pre-season.
Captain Dyson Heppell's appearance at the first day of Essendon's pre-season training has given Ben Rutten a boost as he takes over as the Bombers' coach.
Heppell was a smiling figure at Tullamarine on Monday as the Bombers' first-to-fourth year players returned to the training track.
Veteran teammate Michael Hurley was also back early.
Over at Greater Western Sydney, last year's winner Nick Shipley led the club's 2km time trial for three laps but was overtaken by star midfielder Tim Taranto who hit the line first.
Xavier O'Halloran also grabbed a podium finish, while Tom Green was a surprise inclusion at the front of the pack in fourth place, and 2020 debutant Jack Buckley rounded out the top five.