FREMANTLE draftee Brett Bewley is only weeks into life as an AFL player but already firming for a round one debut, with coach Ross Lyon believing the mature-age Williamstown product is physically ready to step up to the elite level.
Meanwhile, ex-Suns goalsneak Brandon Matera has also impressed by returning to training in top condition after snaring just 13 majors from 18 games in his first season in purple.
Bewley was the Dockers' third pick in the NAB AFL Draft at selection 59 overall and has been turning his new teammates' heads during his short stint at Cockburn.
The 23-year-old wingman boasts a penetrating left-foot but his elite running power could be the point of difference which earns him a spot against North Melbourne in the season-opener.
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"Brett physically has adapted (to AFL standard)," Lyon told fremantlefc.com.au.
"He's a high-end runner and a really mature athlete.
"Brandon Matera came back in great shape and is making some really good ground and is developing the running profile of a small forward, so that's pleasing."
The Dockers expect greater competition for spots in 2019 after a productive NAB AFL Trade Period, and hope for a better run on the injury front.
Nat Fyfe, Connor Blakely, Aaron Sandilands, Sean Darcy, Bradley Hill and his older brother Stephen, who might not run until February after quad surgery, all missed chunks of last season.
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Third-year defender Griffin Logue sat out the entire campaign, mainly due to foot problems, but is confident those issues are behind him.
"There’s been some great continuity in our young players like Andrew Brayshaw, Adam Cerra and Sean Darcy, who just signed a new contract," Lyon said.
"To see Logue back on the track, he had a year he would like to forget, but he’s physically training really well.
"There are lots of little stories floating around but every club has them and we’ve got to continue to write our own story with great effort."
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The Dockers are in the middle of a week-long training camp on the Gold Coast and Lyon has been leaning on his senior players to help drill the gameplan to the playing group.
"The best way to learn is to teach, so they’re actually doing walk-throughs and coning out our team defence, stoppages and ball use in front of the group," Lyon said.
Fremantle's players head off for a three-week break from Saturday, and the coach is imploring the younger brigade not to let their pre-Christmas gains go to waste.
"Three weeks is a long time. It’s really important that they apply themselves to their off-season program over the break as premierships are won over the pre-season by building that foundation," Lyon said.
"We need players to come back, with good weight, skin folds and an ability to run so they can pick up a footy straight away.
"The pros will do that no problem but we have such a young group. It’s hard to put an old head on young shoulders and there will be plenty of challenges for them.
"We’ll need to help them stay focused so we can pick up where we’ve left off from this camp."