The third pre-season of AFL Women's may be well underway, but judging from the smile that can't be wiped from Sam Virgo's face, you would think it's her first. 

Virgo has a prominent excitement and energy towards training. After spending 444 days on the sideline, following a torn ACL in 2017, she's feeling fresher than ever.

"It's great. I feel like a new draftee, to be honest," Virgo said.

"The excitement is only just simmering, we're just getting into the grind now."

Join the Lions AFLW team for Christmas in the Den next Monday!

While the composed half-back was an All Australian and one of the team's vice-captains in the League's inaugural year, over a year on the sidelines has ignited a fire within her ahead of 2019.

Adding fuel to Virgo's fire is the competition for a spot in the starting team. 

The Lions have recruited a number of talented, young players who, like Virgo, are competing to get their name on the list.

"I've got to make sure they [the draftees] are not taking my spot," Virgo said.

"I'm competing with them and their young legs for a spot, so it's really good for everyone to keep challenging each other."

Of the new draftees, fellow defender Jade Ellenger has been one to stand out for Virgo.

"Jade has really impressed me at the moment, she's in with the backline group so it's been good to work with her."

Away from football, the good news continues for Virgo following the safe arrival of her first daughter, Harriet, with partner Jenna. 

It's been a hectic few months balancing motherhood and pre-season. 

"Trying to balance it with pre-season has been interesting but we've got through so far, it's going well."