THE FIGHT for spots in Geelong's best 22 is going to be even more difficult next year following a hectic off-season, according to young Cat Darcy Lang.
Resuming training under bright sunshine at Newtown Oval in Geelong just 12 days ahead of his 20th birthday, Lang said nothing would be taken for granted after the disappointing result in 2015 where the Cats missed the finals for the first time since 2006.
"Everyone has to lift," Lang said.
He agreed it was exciting to be back training with a list that added Patrick Dangerfield, Scott Selwood, Lachie Henderson and Zac Smith during the trade period.
He expected those players would want to prove themselves again at their new club and along with the new draft picks the competition for spots would be intense.
"We have a different look and they will be competing for spots like the rest of us," Lang said.
"I think it is going to be much more difficult now."
Lang played 20 games in an excellent second season and was voted Geelong's best young player at the end of the year.
He said he would approach this pre-season in the same way he approached the last in order to ready himself for the year ahead.
"I want to play a full year," Lang said.
Joining Lang on the track for the first session were youngsters Nakia Cockatoo, Cory Gregson, who played 31 games between them in their first season at the club, Jackson Thurlow, Jake Kolodjashnij, Jordan Cunico, Zac Bates, Michael Luxford, Tom Read and Jed Bews.
The Cats did skills and running drills while a rehab group consisting of Rhys Stanley, Josh Cowan and Lincoln McCarthy did running as they return from injury interrupted seasons in 2015.
Lang shared the thoughts of every AFL club across the nation when asked of his hopes for the pre-season.
"Have a good lead up and be injury free at round one," Lang said.
Jake Kolodjashnij fires a handball away during the Cats' pre-season session on Monday. Picture: AFL Media