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Kaitlyn Ashmore lights up at training

Michael Whiting, AFL Media  November 27, 2017 10:38 AM

Ashmore is back and ready to go Kaitlin Ashmore is back in Brisbane and already smashing pre-season, coming home first in the team's 2km time trial on Monday.

First-season star Kaitlyn Ashmore has returned to pre-season training in great shape, dominating the 2km time trial at the Brisbane Lions' first session on Monday night.

Ashmore, a 26-year-old utility who splits her time between the midfield and half-forward, was a driving force behind the Lions making the inaugural NAB AFLW Grand Final.

And based on her first session, she'll be doing everything possible to take them one step further next season.

Ashmore established an early lead in the time trial conducted around Yeronga's main field, winning by close to 100m from Ally Anderson and tennis-convert Krystal Scott.

All Australian and Lions' best and fairest winner Emily Bates was also prominent.

The endurance test was the last part of a two-hour session that focused mainly on skills, that, although a bit rusty, were streets ahead of the same session 12 months ago.

The Lions have a starkly different squad at their disposal for next season, with coach Craig Starcevich having to integrate 13 new faces, who were all on show when pre-season started last week.

Gone is marquee player Taylah Harris (Carlton), while reliable leader and All Australian Sam Virgo will miss the season after suffering a serious knee injury in the local league.

Virgo was still a smiling face at training, taking on the role of the team's football manager.

The coaching staff is the same as the one in paced for successful 2017 squad, with former AFL players Daniel Merrett and Brent Staker leading much of the first session and barking out orders alongside experienced David Lake.

Starcevich addressed the team before and after training, with one of his strong messages to channel the excitement of being back, but to "just hold back" a fraction to avoid injury.

He also stressed taking some extra time to execute skills properly.

The Lions will integrate the men's and women's teams for training on Wednesday afternoons during pre-season where possible.