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Lovell back in action

Jackson Paine  November 9, 2017 2:00 PM

Burton set for tough pre-season Ryan Burton is expecting things to ramp up soon as the young players returned from break.

Kieran Lovell already has his sights set firmly on season 2018.

While many of his teammates were jet-setting around the world, Lovell led a more simple off-season itinerary.

The Tasmanian stayed close to home, splitting time between Melbourne and hanging out with family and friends in his home state.

Having endured an injury-interrupted 2017 season which saw him require a shoulder reconstruction, the 20-year old saw fit to get himself in prime condition ahead of the upcoming pre-season. 

“I didn’t have the season I would have liked to have had, as I was in rehab for most of the year,” Lovell said.

“I wasn’t really in desperate need of a break so I just focussed on keeping the rehab going the whole way through.”

On Thursday morning’s session, Lovell reached a significant checkpoint in his recovery as he was re-introduced into some contact drills.

“I’ve been in full training so far this week, because we don’t really do a whole heap of full contact drills early on.

“I haven’t been held back at all really yet.

“So, I’m pretty sure by the time we’re doing match-play I will be 100%.”

Read: Cousins aims for 'bigger and better' 2018

The strongly-built 174cm midfielder says his primary goal is to complete the pre-season and get himself in the best possible shape ahead of Round 1 next year.

“I want to build a really good fitness base, get my skills up as well as learning the game plan so I can step up and play some good footy this year.

“Hopefully that will be at senior level but, if not, the aim is just to contribute some good, consistent footy wherever I play.”

Having managed two AFL games in 2016, Lovell has already had a taste of senior football but is clearly intent on adding to that tally.

“I think seeing so many young guys play good, consistent footy at senior level last year is a really positive thing for us young boys.

“It shows us that if we do get the opportunity and we do take it, there are spots there for us and we can really make a big contribution to the next wave of Hawthorn success.”

Gallery: Thursday combat session