Dockers send unfit Walters back to WAFL
Fremantle forward Michael Walters’ AFL career has hit flashpoint after the Dockers sent him back to his WAFL club Swan Districts to train after he failed to meet the club’s pre-season fitness standards.
Dockers football manager Chris Bond yesterday confirmed the dec-ision, which was made on Friday. Walters could start training with Swans, his WAFL club of origin, as soon as tonight.
“We can confirm that Michael has gone back to Swan Districts due to the fact that he hasn’t met the club’s standards, expectations and requirements,” Bond said.
Bond said the ball was now in Walters’ court.
He would do all of his training work with Swans, including weight programs and recovery sessions, but the Dockers would happily reassess their position on him if he brought his fitness level to club standards.
“He has the opportunity to act his way back into our program by working hard at Swans,” Bond said.
Walters appeared to have heeded previous club warnings about his preparation to play AFL football in October last year when he cancelled a planned family holiday to do extra training after signing a one-year contract with the Dockers. It is understood the club had warned him about his overall condition during his first post- season condition check.
At the time, his manager Jason Dover said Walters had responded well to his first meeting with new coach Ross Lyon, who had made no secret of warning players of returning to the club for pre-season in anything less than ideal shape.
“The first meeting was really positive and Sonny (Walters) wanted to stay at the club and play for Fremantle,” Dover said at the time.
“It seems like Ross Lyon wants him at the club and to be part of the team. He’s made some enormous inroads in the last three to four weeks.”
But Walters’ initial enthusiasm appears to have waned, resulting in ground lost rather than gained.
He has looked the odd man out in a squad fined down to muscle and sinew following Lyon’s ultimatum.
He has continued to look overweight, and has spent most of his training time away from the main squad. He was boxing on the sidelines while teammates did ball work on Friday before the club decided to send him back to Swans.Source Link