Jailed West Coast Eagles rookie Murray Newman has embarked on a vigorous training program in jail in the hope of a quick return to AFL football next year.
But the Eagles do not want the 20-year-old, who was jailed for assault, to play for a prison side in the WA Amateur Football League, fearing he could get rough treatment from opponents.
Former North Melbourne and South Fremantle forward Warren Campbell, the son of WA football legend Basil Campbell, is running weekly training sessions with Newman and a handful of other inmates at Wandoo Reintegration Facility, Murdoch.
The sessions include an hour of education, covering topics such as the AFL's Respect and Responsibility policy and handball and kicking drills.
Mr Campbell said Newman, who is eligible for parole in September, made it clear he wanted to return to West Coast quickly. "I've probably had about four or five sessions with him," Mr Campbell said. "He shows pretty good leadership in them."
The former Swan Districts livewire follows an intense strength and conditioning program given to him by West Coast. Fitness was a question mark for Newman before being jailed and Mr Campbell works on it almost every day.
"He was pretty sore yesterday, actually," he said. "It's very full-on and he struggles with it because he can't eat what he would on the outside to fuel him."
Mr Campbell, 39, runs the New Horizons program, which uses football to reintegrate minimum-security prisoners.
Wandoo and Wooroloo Prison Farm inmates play for Swans in lower grades of the WAAFL.
Though the Eagles did not want Newman to play at weekends because of possible injury, he was waiting to hear if he could join the squad at Wooroloo training on Tuesdays and Thursdays.