Fremantle forward Michael Walters has gone as far as cancelling a family holiday in an effort to impress new coach Ross Lyon and get his body back into shape leading into a crunch year for his career.
The 20-year-old signed a one-year contract ahead of yesterday's AFL list lodgement deadline as the Dockers also kept faith with tagger Ryan Crowley for 2012.
Crowley, 27, has recommitted for one more season, following a year in which he was dropped three times and battled to retain his spot.
Walters has continued his training during the off-season in a bid to prove his worth to Lyon, choosing not to go on a scheduled trip away with his partner last week.
It is understood the talented goal sneak's skin fold levels had been well over acceptable standards when he received his first post- season conditioning check at Fremantle, prompting a warning from club officials.
Walters' manager Jason Dover said his client had responded well to his initial meeting with Lyon.
"The first meeting was really positive and Sonny (Walters) wanted to stay at the club and play for Fremantle," Dover said.
"It seems like Ross Lyon wants him at the club and to be part of the team. I suppose Sonny just had to show that he was keen to be there in the areas that they needed him to get better straight away. He's made some enormous inroads in the last three to four weeks."
Walters has played 11 AFL matches in three seasons and showed a glimpse of his potential in late 2010 when he booted three goals against Geelong in a losing semifinal.
However, injury and poor form restricted him to just the first three games of this year.
Meanwhile, the future of out-of-contract St Kilda defender Zac Dawson will become clearer in 10 days. Speculation linking Dawson to a move to Fremantle via next month's pre-season draft resurfaced yesterday, with reports the back man had already told teammates he was quitting the Saints.
The 25-year-old remained on St Kilda's senior list after yesterday's lodgement cut-off, but appears increasingly likely to be at another club next year. He must sign a contract by November 11 or effectively de-list himself.
The Dockers would not be drawn on recruiting Dawson, but a spokesman said they were contemplating whether they had a pick in the pre-season draft.
"As a consequence of that, we are doing our due diligence on players that fall into that bracket," the spokesman said.
·Sacked Fremantle coach Mark Harvey is understood to have had talks with Gold Coast officials in the past week about a role as an assistant coach next year.
·Former Collingwood, Adelaide and North Melbourne utility player Jason McCartney has quit his development role with Fremantle just a year into the post. McCartney will become list manager at the Western Bulldogs.
·West Coast have retained running defender Lewis Stevenson and small forward Ryan Neates on their senior list, with the pair signing one-year deals.