Another tough week of pre-season training is underway, with the squad continuing to progress under the massive workload being placed on them by the new-look coaching staff.
Thankfully for nib Newcastle Knights fans everywhere, the boys are taking to the new program well and are continuing to improve every week.
Head of Physical Performance Balin Cupples believes the group are better placed than this time in 2018, leaving them in good stead as the gruelling pre-season continues.
“As I said last week the boys have done some work over the off season,” Cupples said.
“It’s allowed us off the back of their testing to proscribe some significant advances on where we were last year. In line with this and the new coaching staff and scheduling, we’ve been doing things a bit differently this year and it’s been a fair change to the players.
“As part of this, we’ve been able to go a bit more intense on the field from an earlier start, and then how we’re mixing up the schedule and the intensity we’re getting across a full day, and the boys are definitely taking some time to get used to it.”
While the squad has been slogging it out on the training paddock, the news from inside the recovery unit continues to get better, with Mason Lino and Beau Fermor are both continuing to progress as planned.
“We’re in a really strong position at this stage of the season. Mason and Beau are our only two significant injuries and they’re progressing pretty strongly against their timelines,” Cupples said.
“Two weeks in, and the other boys are feeling a bit of soreness and adjusting to the significant increase in loads, so there’s a couple of little niggles around some individuals, but that’s expected at this time of year.
“As I said we’ve raised as much as we can physically in line with what Adam wants to get out of the team and what Adam wants to get out training wise. We’re expecting these niggles to continue for the next week and a half, then we’ll hold for a while and then go at them again heading into Christmas.”
With the painstaking pre-season testing now out of the way, the team is bunkering down to focus on building match fitness and hitting their marks across the day.
“We're just trying to get more done in less time. We’re a bit more games-focussed and a bit more detailed across keeping individuals accountable across all aspects of training,” Cupples said.
“At this stage the boys are getting used to it and we’re keeping the pressure on them, not just in the field sessions but across the day.
“Ultimately, it’s going to give us a bigger base to build off when we do hit January and really start hitting football-wise.”