Adelaide High Performance Manager Darren Burgess has given the squad a resounding tick on day one of pre-season, saying he’s impressed with how players have returned.

The entire Crows squad was back at West Lakes early on Monday morning, ahead of the first day of pre-season training.

Speaking to the media, Burgess said the way in which players returned showed they were hungry to improve ahead of the 2024 AFL season.

The fitness boss, who was entering his third season at the Club, said more than 90 per cent of the team hit personal best times in the 1km time trial.

“I haven’t looked at the (exact) times because they started at different times but I do know of the single 1 kms we had 38 of them get their PBs,” Burgess said.

“With 41 guys training, that is pretty good.

“Our guys did them really well, they repeated 1kms, which they’ve done before and they performed really well.

“They’ve come back in really good shape.”

Many players had trained together as a group during the off-season, which, according to Burgess, was a catalyst behind so many players recording PBs in the time trials.

“One thing this group does really well in the off-season is they train together,” Burgess said.

“In previous groups they might go to different parts of Sydney or Melbourne or wherever they are but these guys always come together, so there’s a lot of footy in their off-season training.

“It’s good, obviously it’s important to kick and catch as well but what we do know with this group is that it’s a really hard working group.

“It’s not surprising but it’s pleasing for someone like me to know we don’t have to do a lot of running in pre-season.”

Burgess said the program would be slightly different to previous years, with the length of pre-season being cut ahead of the Clubs’ March 16 start.

“This is the shortest pre-season I’ve ever been part of,” Burgess said.

“What it does mean is that off-season becomes really important and the guys have ticked that box.

“It means before we might do 70 per cent footy, 30 per cent running, but that might just ramp up a bit with more footy and less running because the guys are showing they’ve come back in good shape and we don’t have a lot of time.”