Gold Coast’s High Performance Manager Alex Rigby has given an update on the male players’ progress as the group starts to integrate into match simulation sessions.
Rigby was the mastermind behind the SUNS’ six-day pre-season camp in Queenstown, which he says was a great way for the AFL’s largest list to form strong bonds before the 2020 season.
“We headed to New Zealand for the second time just before the Christmas period,” Rigby told SUNS Media.
“It was a great camp with a mix of conditioning and connection.
“We were lucky enough to have a bit of rain which made the camping a little bit more challenging.
“But overall it was a really successful camp – we achieved what we wanted to and challenged them fairly heavily towards the back end and on the last day.”
Two weeks into the second block of pre-season training in the New Year, the group is now building towards more intense match simulations sessions.
Rigby says the aim is to get the group humming before a pre-season trial match against the Brisbane Lions in mid-February.
“We’ve just introduced match sim earlier this week,” he said.
“The boys have obviously endured a fair bit of conditioning and running fitness through the pre-Christmas period.
“Now a lot of our conditioning is coming in and around our football drills.
“Over the next three weeks we’ll transition and progress that match simulation practice leading into our first trial in Brisbane in mid-February.”
2020 is Rigby’s second season in the role of High Performance Manager, and the former SUNS rehab coach has made an off-season addition to his team to fill the role he had previously occupied.
“We’ve welcomed David Bailey as our senior athletic performance and rehab coach this year,” Rigby said.
“We’re lucky enough to get him from Cricket Australia where he’s held a number of different roles.
“Dave’s had a tremendous impact already on the group.
“He’s working really closely with the rehab group and fitted into the high performance team really nicely so we’re rapt to have him on board.”
The SUNS’ first Marsh Community Series match is less than a month away, coming up against Geelong in a double-header with the AFLW QClash at Metricon Stadium on February 22.