ADELAIDE stars Rory Sloane and Bryce Gibbs have reported back to training two weeks earlier than expected, aiming to set the standard for their young teammates.
Sloane and Gibbs joined the Crows' first-to-fourth-year players for a solid session at Cornerstone College in Mount Barker on Monday morning.
It's the earliest the Crows have returned to training since 2014 – the last time they missed the finals.
The Crows went through kicking and handball drills followed by a gruelling block of conditioning running.
Defender Tom Doedee said it was great to have Sloane and Gibbs lead from the front.
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"They've got the runs on the board, their skills are always up, their voice is always up and their running is top notch," Doedee said.
"It's good, just for me trying to develop my leadership a bit and for the young boys starting off to see how we do it at the Crows."
Two of those new faces were small forward Tyson Stengle, who joined the Crows from Richmond during the trade period, and Sturt livewire Shane McAdam, acquired in the Mitch McGovern trade with Carlton.
Stengle trained with the main group while McAdam was on a modified program, as was midfielder Hugh Greenwood.
Renowned physiotherapist and research scientist Steve Saunders was on hand for the first time since joining the club in a full-time role, as were new assistant coaches Martin Mattner (defence) and Michael Godden (midfield).
Senior assistant coach Scott Camporeale oversaw the session with head coach Don Pyke overseas.
Doedee said the players kept in touch during the off-season and wanted to hit the ground running.
"We have a pretty big emphasis on how we're returning this year," he said.
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"Personally, I know a lot of the boys, just by snapchats, videos, everything they were putting in the groups, that they were working pretty hard.
"I think everyone's pretty motivated to return at a good standard and we saw it out there today."
Doedee expected skipper Taylor Walker (foot) and midfielder Brad Crouch (groin) to join training when the rest of the squad returns on November 19.
Doedee, the runner-up in this year's NAB AFL Rising Star award, broke his collarbone in the round 22 win against North Melbourne, putting a dent in his off-season plans.
"My original goal was to put on a bit of size, but with my collarbone I've lost a bit of weight by not being able to do some upper body strength work," he said.
"I'm trying to slowly build up some weight so I can play on some bigger bodies if we have an injury in a game, or if I get caught on a second tall (forward).
"I don't want to lose too much of my speed or jumping, but I'd like to put on a bit of size."
Ruckman Paul Hunter, who was delisted last week after three years on the Crows' rookie list, trained with the team in hopes of a lifeline.
There’s a strong chance Hunter will return to the Crows list during next month’s draft on a one-year deal.
Second-year defender Andrew McPherson missed the session as he continues his recovery from groin soreness.