Agility will be the focus of Greater Western Sydney’s sports science manager John Quinn as he looks to bring the team’s old hands up to speed for another AFL season.
GWS have tempted Dean Brogan, 33, Chad Cornes, 32, James McDonald, 35, and 31-year-old Luke Power out of retirement and will be counting on the quartet to provide guidance and steel to the young list.
The key question is just how much on-field support the seasoned veterans will supply.
Quinn says his expectations will be shaped as the 2012 season unfolds.
“There’s a lot of flexibility built into their programs to cycle them through, but it’s not just the games that we’ll rest them from,” he said.
“It’s the way we manage them day to day, week to week and month to month – that’s the important thing.
“I look at more the bigger picture and then we adjust the picture as we go, based on how they present for each session.
“…You never quite know what each game is going to throw up.”
While Quinn’s uncertain how many matches the experienced foursome will play, he couldn’t be more assured of his program for them over the pre-season.
The rise of interchange rotations means the game is faster than ever, so speed will understandably be the focus.
“A lot of these players, they have more than a decade of AFL fitness in their bodies so they’re not going to lose fitness in that time,” he said.
“What they lose, most importantly, is speed and explosiveness.
“So we’ve got to be able to train them – short, sharp and intense.
“They don’t need to go to another meeting on player behaviour, they don’t need to go to yet another session on hydration.
“They need to train, be explosive, be intense, then rest.
“They’ll have different challenges for myself and my staff, but I think we’re ready for it.”