Aaron Naughton credits WAFL training with South Fremantle for pre-season shape

Headshot of Catherine Healey
Catherine HealeyThe West Australian
VideoWA's Aaron Naughton is back training with the Western Bulldogs ahead of the 2022 AFL season.

AFL forward Aaron Naughton says his decision to train at South Fremantle this pre-season has helped fuel his love of footy heading into the 2022 season.

The Western Bulldogs rising star spent most of his off-season at home in Perth, enjoying Christmas with his family before hitting the track with his WAFL Bulldogs counterparts.

Now back with his teammates in Victoria, Naughton said he decision to head home has put him in the right headspace for the upcoming season.

“It was awesome to go down (to South Fremantle) – a bit of a different environment – no pressure and just enjoy footy again,” he told 7NEWS.

“Fitness has probably gone up a little bit since not having any niggles and being able to get a good block of training pre-Christmas away from the club.

Aaron Naughton spent his pre-season in WA.
Camera IconAaron Naughton spent his pre-season in WA. Credit: Instagram

“I still want to continue to grow and hopefully get better. I see (my leap) as a weapon in my game and I want to continue to do that.”

Naughton, who was taken by the Bulldogs with pick nine in the 2017 Draft, has played 78 games in his four seasons at the club.

Surprisingly, the 22-year-old is now considered one of the Bulldogs’ more senior forwards — following the long-term injury to Josh Bruce, and has taken on a leadership role.

“It’s a bit strange (being titled a leader) but I’ve played a few games down there now and yeah you probably start to get that leadership title in the forward line,” Naughton said.

An emotional Aaron Naughton watches Melbourne’s premiership celebrations.
Camera IconAn emotional Aaron Naughton watches Melbourne’s premiership celebrations. Credit: Gary Day/AFL Photos

“I am probably one of the more experience players down there – we are still pretty young.”

The key forward said last year’s devastating 74-point grand final loss to Melbourne was motivating players heading in to the 2022 season.

“It’s not an ideal way to finish the season, the group is really driven to make it one more.”

Get the latest news from thewest.com.au in your inbox.

Sign up for our emails