Dockers fitter than ever before
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Fremantle have to look no further than 2008 for motivation this AFL pre-season.The Dockers finished with a disappointing 6-16 win-loss record last season, losing eight games by 10 points or less in which they experienced a horrendous run of final-quarter fadeouts.
The club has since invested heavily in its sports science department, recruiting former Wallabies physical performance coach Jason Weber in a bid to transform the club into one of the fittest in the competition.
The early signs have been good, with players feeling fitter than they ever have before.
“The volume of training has been extended,” coach Mark Harvey said on Wednesday.
“Where that leads to in a game remains to be seen.
“You’d like to think we’re ahead (of this time last year).”
Defender Antoni Grover declared he was the fittest he had ever been.
“It is very tiring but the people we have there, the fitness and conditioning staff, are right on to us with our recovery and our hydration and our massages,” Grover said.
“We’ve been able to push ourselves to the boundary and also get up for the next session the next day.
“I definitely feel the fittest I have in my career so that’s exciting for me and I know it’s exiting for the other boys.
“I know judging by my personal times that I’m ahead of where I was before.”
Despite losing a glut of experience from last year, including Peter Bell, Josh Carr and Shaun McManus, Harvey has faith his young team can have an impact in 2009.
“We’ll be more than competitive and that’s what we were last year without being able to finish it off,” Harvey said.
“But having said that, I think like any club if you go into your depth too early, too quickly, then that can possibly have an effect. So you just need a bit of luck.
“This time last year we’d lost (Des) Headland and (Paul) Hasleby and at this stage we haven’t got that problem.”
The Dockers kick off their NAB Cup campaign against Richmond at Subiaco Oval on February 15.
AAP jsc/gc© AAP 2013