Dom Saunders’ thoughts ahead of game 1!

Speaking to Head Coach Dom Saunders he had the following to say:

How has training changed in the transition period between ‘Pre-Season’ and ‘In-Season’ training?

I think the biggest difference has been the workload we have put on
players, even though they might not tell you that!! Over last few weeks we
have begun to taper down the strength and conditioning work in order to
get the lads as fresh as possible, but we will soon see if this has worked
come Saturday!
We’ve also tried to place a bigger emphasis on our technical detail in the
last few weeks. The lads have been challenged to constantly work on the
small areas of their game and not to forget them in the bigger picture of a
game scenario. This was a real area where we lacked discipline and focus
last year, so I hope the extra work will play dividends this year.

How difficult was selection this week?

Selection was horrible! On one hand it was brilliant to have forty-six
players available and on the other you are obviously going to end up with
a fair few disappointed players. Saying that the reaction from speaking to
those lads who didn’t quite get to where they wanted to be this week has
been brilliant, they have taken on board the areas they need to keep
working on and if they do that they know they are only one or two
performance away from where they want to be. I also think it shows the
excellent work the leadership group have done in creating a culture in
which everyone is buying into no matter which team they come to
represent on Saturday. But perhaps what is most pleasing is the
competition we now have for places within the squad and that will only
drive the standards even higher in training.

What do you hope to see from both sides playing this weekend?

Most importantly I’m just looking forward to watching the lads go out
there and enjoy themselves with their mates. We know that both
Footscray and Lordswood are going to provide two really tough
challenges. Footscray particularly will come to us feeling hard done by I
should imagine after we just pipped them in the Kent Cup last year, a
game where they were by far the better side. I’m just hoping we manage
to replicate a lot of the detail we have put in during twelve hard weeks of
preseason. The lads are chomping at the bit to get started I just hope the
nervous energy doesn’t get the better of them and we forget our basics,
but watching them in training this week there has been a determined look
around the place not to let ourselves down. It promises to be a great club
day that I hope the whole club get behind because I know this group of
players will really appreciate it.

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