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MUST WATCH: Inside the SUNS’ NZ Camp

SUNS TV: New Zealand Camp 2018 SUNS TV takes you through the journey of the 2018 camp in Queenstown, New Zealand
Everything we’ve asked of them they’ve done and I think we’ve lifted some guys and they’ve improved their workload in a really safe way.
Stuart Dew

“Do you reckon we’re finished yet?”

These were the words of High Performance Manager Alex Rigby on the final day of Gold Coast’s intensive six-day training camp in Queenstown, New Zealand. 

“One thing we’ve learnt over the last six weeks is we’re always ready to go back,” Rigby said.

“No matter where we are in the quarter or the game or a rep – we’re always going to be ready, toeing the line, to go back.

“That’s the mentality we’re going to create moving forward.”

65 kilometres travelled by foot over five days, climbing mountain peaks, crossing flowing rivers and to top it off, camping in the New Zealand wilderness by night.

This was the 2018 New Zealand pre-season camp.

It was a gruelling experience for some of the more experienced SUNS players and perhaps a message to the club’s newest recruits: welcome to life as an AFL footballer.

But as the travelling party jet back across the Tasman to the comfort of their own beds, there is the sense that this group is more united than ever before.

“All of the staff have been really proud of the way they’ve attacked it,” SUNS coach Stuart Dew told SUNS TV.

“I think it’s been enjoyable for them as well.

“It’s been hard work – and I think at times when we’ve made it fun activities they don’t actually realise how hard they’re going and I think when they reflect on it they’ll love what they’ve achieved.

Dew said the camp had the desired effect, to bring the group closer together and test their mettle under trying circumstances.

“(The) attitude and approach and execution has probably summed up the whole pre-season… everything we’ve asked of them they’ve done and I think we’ve lifted some guys and they’ve improved their workload in a really safe way," he said.

“(The) mental (aspect) has been the one that they’ve appreciated the challenge and different programs and I think they’ll grow from that.”

Teamwork was tested, comradery was built and friendships were developed.

Watch the exclusive vision of Gold Coast’s 2018 New Zealand camp above, courtesy of SUNS TV.