Early start: The Mid West East Fremantle Football Academy.
Early start: The Mid West East Fremantle Football Academy.

It may have been just over a month since the grand finals in local football concluded, but the hard yakka is already back on the cards for this group of young men.

Yesterday, the Mid West’s East Fremantle Football Academy kicked off its pre-season training program.

The academy, now in its second year, helps aspiring footballers aged 16-21 hone their talents for a shot at WAFL and the AFL pathway with the Sharks.

Head coach Craig Walker said 20 locals signed up to the first session at Greenough Oval.

“It was great to get so many and there was about another nine who were apologies, so the numbers look good again this year,” he said.

“The players worked hard for the full two hours, which wasn’t easy with it being so warm.”

He said the players were put to the test with a 3km time trial, 20 metre sprints and skills programs.

"The fitness of the group in the time trial was brilliant,” Walker said.

“There was about five minutes between the first and last finishers, so it was very tight.”

Brigades junior Harrison King, 16, logged a nippy 10 minutes 35 seconds in the time trial — a time comparable with National Draft Combine standards.

Luke Dowling, of Rovers, and Dillon Coulthard, of Brigades, clocked 20-metre times which were quicker than Gold Coast’s new Geraldton recruit Jack Martin.

Dowling stopped the clock in 2.8 seconds, while Coulthard took 2.91 seconds.

Former Towns player Martin clocked 2.92 seconds in national testing.

Walker extended an invite to any local footballers who were keen to push for the Sharks.

The next session is taking place tomorrow from 5.30pm at Greenough Oval.

Another is taking place at Mullewa Oval on Saturday from 10am.

Sessions are then scheduled at Greenough each Monday, Tuesday and Thursday in the run-up to the Christmas holidays.

Walker said identified players would be primed and ready for the Sharks’ pre-season campaign in January.

He said Year 12 pupils could play colts games for the WAFL club throughout the season to gain exposure and build their talents.

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