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SOJ happy to be back

Dylan Buckley is back for his fourth pre-season. (Photo: Carlton Football Club)
Dylan Buckley is back for his fourth pre-season. (Photo: Carlton Football Club)

Young gun Dylan Buckley has joined his junior teammates in returning to the track for their first day of pre-season training. 

The 21-year-old, who earned himself a Rising Star nomination in 2014, says that whilst it's been an exhausting start, he's thrilled to be back. 

"It's very tough – it's always tough coming back,” Buckley said.

"But it's great to be here with all the new guys, like KJ (Kristian Jacksch) and Mark (Whiley). It's awesome to have them here, it's really livened up the group."

Carlton's High Performance Manager David Buttifant has wasted no time in putting the young players through a gruelling skills and weights session. 

Buckley maintains that whilst it's been a shock to the system, he wouldn't want it any other way. 

"It's the way you want it to be," Buckley said. 

"You want to come here and get straight back into it – it feels like we haven't left, which is great."

The young defender sees the next week or two as an opportunity to get a head start before the more experienced players return. 

"I think it's a definite advantage coming back a bit earlier and I know the others feel that way as well,” he said. 

"We'll be training as hard as we can, waiting for the rest of the boys to get back – plus it's a good time for the more quieter blokes to try and develop themselves as well."

The son of triple premiership player Jim Buckley begins his pre-season training all the wiser, after notching up eight senior games in 2014, taking his AFL games total to nine. 

Buckley says his experience in 2014 has put him in good stead for the year ahead. 

"Compared to last year I feel as though I have more specific goals set because playing senior footy last year, I know what it takes now,” he said.