TOM Fullarton was quick to make an impression at his new club.

A fresh face among the Dees, the tall recruit impressed early, lighting up the track during pre-season and making his talent known among teammates and coaches alike.

But after an unfortunate hiccup (a hamstring injury), Fullarton was forced to put a pause on his strong pre-season efforts.  

With his sights set on Opening Round, the 25-year-old was ready to face his rehab head on. 

And this determination paid off, with Fullarton making a return to play just four and half weeks later, completing his first full game during Wednesday’s VFL practice match.  

“It's been four and half weeks now, so I’m back earlier than expected thanks to Selwyn (Griffith) and the rehab crew,” Fullarton told Melbourne Media.

“I worked really hard, and it was really good to come out here today, play the full game and feel really good.”


Despite the delay on his first pre-season in the red and blue, Fullarton said he'd enjoyed his time at the Dees, eager to make an on-field impact when the opportunity arises. 

“I was happy with how I came to the club and the condition I came in,” Fullarton said.

“I put together a really solid block of training and then unfortunately did my hamstring but the good thing about footy is that it’s a long season.

“There’s a long year ahead and there’s going to be an opportunity to play at some point.

“So, I’m just going to work really hard and try play the best footy I can and help contribute to the team when my name is called.”

Th ex-basketballer enjoyed majority of minutes in the ruck during Wednesday’s practice match, with rotations through the forward line, a slight change of pace for the former Lion.

Fullarton came to the Dees after a notable year in the VFL for Brisbane, where he dominated inside 50 with 30 goals across 18 games.

As a powerful and tall talent, Fullarton said he was keen for continued growth in both his strengths and challenges.

“I played a lot more in the ruck today, which is where I like to use my strengths, following up at the ground and getting amongst the ball,” Fullarton said.

“Probably, as a forward, I’m still adapting and learning to the new structures and patterns.

“So, it was just good to get a hit-out in.”

The Demons defeated Carlton by 29 points in the hit-out, with plenty of positives to take from the game. 

“I wasn’t here last year, but I think there’s been a little tinkering with the game plan,” Fullarton said.

“Obviously at the start of the year, you’re going to be in a learning phase and you’re going to probably over-emphasise the things that you’re trying to fix.

“So, it’s just going to be about adjusting with new players, playing a new style of footy and I’m sure in a couple weeks’ time everyone will be used to it.”