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Brutal running program pushing Suns to the limit

GOLD COAST, AUSTRALIA - DECEMBER 13: Anthony Miles of the Suns runs during the Gold Coast Suns training session at Metricon Stadium on December 13, 2018 on the Gold Coast, Australia. (Photo by Adam Trafford/AFL Media)
Where the group's at and the age demographics, I think it's fantastic the club is standing for something and that's that we need to work hard in order to get better and that's the way they've identified to get better.
Anthony Miles

The volume of running Gold Coast has banked prior to Christmas has pushed even its most seasoned recruits to their limits.

Jack Hombsch, fresh from six years at renowned running powerhouse Port Adelaide, said some of the sessions were among the hardest he'd done.

Ex-Tiger and Giant Anthony Miles described it as the highest workload he'd been put through in eight seasons, while George Horlin-Smith said the running was comparable to anything he'd experienced in seven years at Geelong.

All this from the youngest list in the AFL.

But the thing that has impressed the trio most is the attitude of the players.

"There hasn't been any whinging and moaning," Hombsch told AFL.com.au.

"Riggas (high performance manager Alex Rigby) has tried his best to break us.

"It's the young boys leading the charge bringing the enthusiasm, bringing the energy."

Under Rigby's program the Suns have logged 50 percent more kilometres than at the same time in previous years.

And they've been challenged mentally.

On the day prior to leaving for the club's pre-season training camp in New Zealand, Rigby told the players they were completing a stable session of three one-kilometre runs.

However, on completing the third, he told them to line up again. And again. And again. And again. Seven reps in total. Just to prove to the players they were still capable of giving more.

 

"I've been blown away with how professional the young group is and the training standards," Miles said.

"Their drive and want to get better and improve is unbelievable.

"Richmond had different dynamics in terms of list age and where they're at. You've got guys topping up because the base is there.

"In terms of workload and volume of training it's probably been higher than anything I've been exposed to in my eight years.

"Where the group's at and the age demographics, I think it's fantastic the club is standing for something and that's that we need to work hard in order to get better and that's the way they've identified to get better.

"Zero whinging and it's just "let's get it done and all in together".

Horlin-Smith was equally effusive in his praise.

"They cop whatever is thrown at them on the chin and just get after it.

"It drags you along really quickly. When there's lot of enthusiasm and there's young boys bouncing around off each other, and now being somewhat of an older player, it's been great for me, it's really refreshed me.

"The group is certainly open to whatever challenge is thrown at them. I think Geelong was the same, the main difference is the age demographic.

"It's certainly been tough, it's comparable to any other pre-season I've done."