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Colts Pre-Season Update with Noah Dean

Friday, January 19, 2024 - 4:15 PM

2024 pre-season started in November of 2023 with the whole squad coming back fit and ready to hit the track. The high skill level of the team was made quickly apparent and the same can be said for the fitness levels. The standards of training were high, and we were off to a promising start to the pre-Christmas training block.

At the very beginning of pre-season, we had our team meeting to state some of our goals, standards and expectations when it comes to training and the 2024 season ahead. We started with basic standards such as running between drills and bringing a drink bottle with enough water for a session in the heat of summer, and by the time we finished the block before Christmas, we had a good list of above and below the line standards that we will follow and execute during the whole season ahead. These standards were exemplified through all trainings and were upheld by all our players in our sessions, showing the level of professionalism we were going into the New Year with.

Unfortunately, our 2023 season ended with a loss in the preliminary final against Perth, who just outplayed us on that day. We are looking to improve on this and make it far in the finals once again, however this year looking to go even further. 

We started the pre-season with a new group of boys coming up from the Futures program and other junior clubs who fitted in nicely and were able to quickly adjust to the new standard and professionalism of the team. They were able to learn the system and begin really showing it quite early in the block, which was a good indication of what we are looking towards going into this year.

We had a strong show of leadership from many of the boys, even some of the new faces to the team which was an early indication to me that we have a strong and determined group this year to go along with our more experienced players from previous years. This added to the strong leaders we have in our coaching and staff group, making each and every part of our team connected and ready to hit the ground running.

We ended the 2023 block of pre-season with a hard session which a lot of the others and I felt brought us closer as a team through the hard effort we all put in together. Support was shown throughout the whole team during that session, whether it was pushing each other through the next effort, or simply saying “keep it up”, demonstrating the comradery we had developed through the short month of the November-December block of training.

The January block started with a few hard sessions to get the boys back into it and so far, has been productive. We are aiming to continue to build on each session as the pre-season training ramps up through improvements and additions in all areas where possible, including our game plan, structures, and even team comradery. These improvements also include working on our individual games and development to enable the team to be great in 2024.

So far in the pre-season there have been some boys looking really good on the track and definitely some to watch out for in the season ahead. Luke Carrello has shown some serious strength and skill paired well with a high fitness level while Byron McFarland has been stiff arming people for fun whilst also showing some silk when moving the footy. Ashton Warner has shown a high standard of training throughout the break with others doing the same. Elijah Stockden has been strong, training at a high intensity and showing his skills playing down back. Harry Cox and Cale Scott have been near untouchable, showing their playing ability in the middle, Vinnie McCormack has been a bull playing in the inside as well and let’s hope the only thing Taj Forrest snaps this year is a bunch of goals. Some boys have been injured through the break but there have been obvious signs of them looking towards having a big 2024 ahead. Declan Pauline rounded out last year’s season on a high and you can almost guarantee he’ll be looking to carry on his great form into 2024. Bailey Morgan is looking good for a big 2024 after his 2023 season was cut short with an ankle injury and Jacob Hills has been getting back into fitness after his season last year was cut short as well due to two fractured wrists, however he will come back firing and I’d bet on him to have a big year.

Overall, the team is looking strong and as a whole group with coaches, players, and staff we are looking to take what we learnt from last year and extend on that, hopefully taking us as far as possible, and giving us the best chance to have a successful 2024.