Rhinos Xavier Sullivan and Regan Burley tackle the Magpies’ Mitch McLennan. Sullivan hopes for more success in 2010.
Rhinos Xavier Sullivan and Regan Burley tackle the Magpies’ Mitch McLennan. Sullivan hopes for more success in 2010.

Local players pushed to the limits

IF you are squeamish you should stop reading here.

Ghosts boss Col Speed admits some players lose their lunch after his squad’s sand dune runs at Minnie Water.

But that’s just the start of things in a bid to be fit for a new league season.

A typical pre-season starts at least 12 weeks before the first footy is kicked, with the early focus on losing those Christmas kilograms.

“In the first month you look for a fitness base,” Speed revealed.

“You also have to introduce players to game-sense fitness.

“You see what needs to be done to players to get them up to the fitness they need.”

While the early focus is on establishing a base, weeks 5-8 are geared towards increasing speed and agility and slowly introducing game drills.

Speed has taken his troops to the sand at Minnie Water once a week before relocating to the Grafton High School later in the pre-season.

“It’s a change for the players to keep them as fresh as possible. It’s a lot of hard work,” he said.

“The last couple of sessions some of players have gone close to that (throwing up).”

Rhinos head coach Xavier Sullivan says ‘getting a few miles in the legs’ is the early focus.

A series of testing time trials are designed to push the limits.

“I have been guilty of that (throwing up) myself in the past,” he said.

“We start off by getting some good fitness going and then focus more on ball handling and things like that.”

Outside priorities limit some players from reaching their peak.

But that doesn’t mean Magpies coach Ricky Binge cannot push his charges to the brink.

“Most of the guys that want to play first grade have been doing their own training,” he said.

“It would be nice to have them 100 per cent and have them idle through the season but it doesn’t work like that.

“We have to get them ready to go in round 1 and focus on each week after that.”

The season kicks off early May.



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