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West Coast Eagles

Premiership tagger Hutchings as hungry as ever

Hutchings press conference 06.02.19 The premiership midfielder discusses his pre-season form heading into 2019

Mark Hutchings says winning last year’s grand final has not diminished his hunger or dedication leading into season 2019.

Hutchings was one of 22 Eagles who lived out their boyhood dreams when they eclipsed Collingwood by five points in the season decider at the MCG.

But the dependable run-with expert assured fans that he would approach the upcoming home and away campaign with his typical desire and commitment even after climing the game's highest peak last year.

“It’s been good so far, but it’s 2019, it’s a new year and we’ve got a new campaign ahead of us," Hutchings said.

“All I can do is what I’ve done for my whole career, since I’ve been seven or eight, which is just try my best every training session and every game

"Being a premiership player, that hasn’t changed for me and it will never change."

Hutchings had his most productive year as an Eagle in 2018.

He registered a career-best 20 games and evolved into one of the competition’s best taggers.

The 27-year-old revealed one of the secrets to his sterling season 2018 – dropping some weight to keep pace with the game’s elite athletes.

“I personally had to improve my running and lighten up a little bit,” Hutchings said.

“Given the interchange cap there’s less rotations so you’re on the field a little bit longer, so you have to be able to survive those stints out there.

“I had to sacrifice a little bit of body mass and strength around the footy to improve my running.

“Managing your fitness and improving your running (is vital) because all the best midfielders … are very good runners and smart with how they run.”