The future pillar of Fremantle’s backline says now is the time for the Dockers youngsters to show the veterans how it’s done.

While it has been exciting learning a “different philosophy” from coach Ross Lyon, young defender Alex Silvagni believes the challenge is to keep working hard to ensure players like skipper Matthew Pavlich, Antoni Grover and Luke McPharlin hit the ground running when they resume training in the coming weeks.

Silvagni and his fellow first-to-fourth year peers were joined by the club’s fifth-to-eighth year players at Fremantle Oval yesterday and he said the onus was on the young brigade to keep the club’s elder statesmen honest.

“It’s a really good atmosphere around the club,” the 24-year-old said. “The younger guys are driving that which is good and it’s good to see that we’re not reliant upon the older guys to do it.”

Lyon has focused on the fitness levels of players, with training sessions dominated by running, and Silvagni says it is all about “minimising injuries” in the long run.

The Victorian has also altered his running technique to reduce the risk of injury.

“All the younger guys, we’re all looking good at the moment and it’s something we’ve got to carry into next week when the senior guys come in and just drive them along as well,” he said.

“It starts with us so hopefully we can (do that).”

Taken in the 2010 rookie draft, Silvagni’s previous two pre-seasons have been interrupted by injury and could only manage nine games in the last campaign.

However, Silvagni far from disappointed observers when he was fit, and kept Hawthorn star Lance Franklin goal-less when playing on him in a heavy defeat at Patersons Stadium in Round 19.

Silvagni wants to continue playing in the back line but will “accept” moving up the ground should Lyon ask him to.

“Hopefully I can (cement my spot in the backline) this year with a full pre-season,” he said.

“I’d like to stay in defence. But if he (Lyon) has got other plans then I suppose I’ll have to accept it.”

Silvagni says he has not received any information from former Saints assistant and legendary second cousin, Stephen, on what makes Lyon tick, but realises he will become a better footballer under the shrewd tactician.

“He really demands a lot from the players and when he talks, you listen, and you take a lot in from him,” he said.

“And specific to drills, it might be a small drill, he’ll give a bit of an insight and he’ll make things very clear and easy to follow.

“He can take guys and do a lot with them as you’ve seen from St Kilda, so he’s had that finals experience and I’m just eager to learn as much as I can from Ross.

“From the two weeks he’s been here you pick up a lot along the way.”

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