Despite an ever-growing list of achievements and admirers, Fremantle young gun Nat Fyfe is far from reaching his peak as a footballer, according to captain Matthew Pavlich.
Fyfe was a standout at this morning's training session at Fremantle Oval as the Dockers went through match simulation drills in preparation for this Saturday night's NAB Cup opener against West Coast and Geelong.
The squad toughed it out for more than two hours in searing heat, yet maintained a high level of skill under the stern direction of coach Ross Lyon.
Despite the temperature creeping towards the predicted top of 41 degrees, Lyon wouldn't stand for anything less than 100 per cent effort and had rookie-listed midfielder Haiden Schloithe in his crosshairs after the South Fremantle product attempted to take a break after a big hit.
The club's 2010 Doig medallist David Mundy returned to full training for the first time since rolling his ankle more than a week ago but even his presence couldn't eclipse the congestion clinic being put on by his teammate Fyfe.
While admitting the 21-year-old was training strongly, Pavlich was quick to play down any expectations on the emerging midfielder.
"I think Nat's an improving player, he's still got a fair bit of work to do in a couple of areas of his game which he's aware of as much as anyone," Pavlich said.
"Like any young and maturing player, you sort of think back to when I was growing up and developing my game, the same with Luke McPharlin and David Mundy, you haven't got it all sorted out by the age of 21.
"Clearly Nat's got some great strengths that we think are going to be fantastic for him and the club but like any players we continue to challenge him."
Pavlich said the club was very keen on establishing a culture of constant improvement, something Fyfe is a clear example of.
"As an AFL footballer and athlete you're continually trying to get better no matter the circumstance," he said.
Pavlich said he expected to be back in full training by next week after off-season surgery on his back, hip and Achilles.
He said he was still hopeful of playing at least one NAB Cup game.