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Knight's time to shine

Riley Knight leads the pack on Monday morning
Riley Knight leads the pack on Monday morning
The group has come back in good order and there were a few blokes who did some PBs (personal best times) which was great to see
Riley Knight

Promising Crow Riley Knight has signalled his intentions for 2017 by winning the first time trial of the pre-season for Adelaide’s 1-4-year players.

Knight, 21, beat out defender Jake Kelly, second-year midfielder Wayne Milera Junior and wingman Rory Atkins in the 2km run in hot conditions at the SA Athletics Stadium on Monday morning.

Rookie-listed ruckman/forward Paul Hunter crossed the line first in the second group. Aspiring onballer Charlie Cameron came home strongly to finish second in group two.

Knight said the players had set a good standard on day one.

“The group has come back in good order and there were a few blokes who did some PBs (personal best times) which was great to see,” Knight said after training.

“It was good to get back out there and run a solid time. I followed the (training) program in the offseason and got the result today. 

"Everyone is itching to get back into things.”

A strong endurance athlete and meticulous preparer, Knight was careful not to ‘over’ train during the break following an injury-interrupted season.

The hard-running half-forward/wingman played 11 AFL games, including two finals, in a breakout 2015 season but was limited to one match – against Richmond in Round Three – this year.

He missed three months of football with a persistent ankle injury in the middle of the season, returning to play the last six games of Adelaide’s SANFL campaign.

“Injuries are a part of footy and, unfortunately, I got another serious one last season and that kept me out for a bit,” Knight said.

“It was good to get back and play some footy at the end of the year. Unfortunately, I couldn’t break back into the senior side, but it was good to play some SANFL finals and get that experience.

“I’m actually trying to get myself out on the park this year (2017)! So, I backed off what I would usually do (over the break) and I’m feeling really good now, no niggles or anything like that.

“I’m looking forward to taking a good step forward this year.”

Taylor Walker, Rory Sloane, Curtly Hampton and Paul Seedsman cut their holidays short to sweat it out with their younger teammates. Adelaide’s five-year-plus players aren’t officially required back until Monday, December 5.

When the session ended, Walker and Sloane continued to run laps of the track by themselves.

Sloane is coming off his most complete season in the AFL having been named to the All Australian team for the first time along with winning his second Malcolm Blight Medal as the Crows' club champion. Walker had another impressive campaign, selected by his peers as the best captain in the competition.

Hampton looked in great shape as the former Greater Western Sydney defender looks to make an impact in his second year at the Crows. The 23-year-old was sidelined for the first half of this season through injury, before slowing working his way back to form in the SANFL.

Knight said the young players were keen to impress ahead of the pre-season competition starting in February.

“We’ve only got four weeks until the Christmas break, so it’s a big four weeks,” he said.

“We’re not out here to muck around. (It’s important to) keep training hard, put your name up there and, hopefully, crack into the team.”

The views in this article are those of the author and not necessarily those of the AFL or its clubs