CAMPERDOWN football export Easton Wood says he is in the midst of the best pre-season of his career.
Wood is gearing up for the Western Bulldogs’ NAB Cup openers against controversy-stricken Essendon and Collingwood at Docklands next Friday night.
The 23-year-old, speaking from Hamilton where the Bulldogs are undertaking their community camp, said his summer fitness program had been near-perfect.
He said a new Monday-to-Friday regime — which freed up weekends for the playing group — had worked in his favour.
“It’s been the first pre-season I’ve ever done where we’ve gone Monday to Friday and we’ve had the Saturday (and) Sunday off, which has been fantastic,” he said.
“We’ve been able to recover properly and gear up for the next five-day block.
“Running and the main football sessions have been Monday, Wednesday and Friday, with a heavy weights session on those days.
“Tuesdays and Thursdays are cross-training and altitude bike and a circuit in the gym.”
Wood said he had been able to complete all the Bulldogs’ sessions — a rarity for the former basketballer.
“I’ve been injured a lot of the previous pre-seasons. It’s nice to get through this one,” he said.
“I didn’t have any post-season surgery and I’ve got through the pre-season relatively unscathed.”
Western Bulldogs finished 15th in 2012 with just five wins from their 22 matches. The Brendan McCartney-coached side had a young playing group and is in the process of rebuilding under the respected mentor.
Wood said he was confident 2013 would deliver more wins. He said he was keen to reap the rewards of the pre-season when the NAB Cup kicked off.
“I feel great. I can’t believe we’ve got a game in a week,” he said.
“Pre-season is a great time, you can get nice and fit and the pressures of football aren’t as prevalent as they are during the season.
“But I enjoy playing the game. I can’t wait to be back.”
Wood, a running defender, said he was comfortable playing out of the backline.
“I don’t think my role will change much,” he said.
“I’ve done all my pre-season with the backline, I’m just looking to improve in that area, improve my work defensively and my offence.
“It’s like any season, we just want to improve on what we did last season. Last season was a disappointing year, it was a tough year.
“We’ve got a good group of young guys. We’ll learn a few hard lessons but I think that’s going to make us stronger.”
Wood said he was enjoying being in Hamilton as part of the community camp.
The players arrived yesterday and met civic leaders before attending training at a host of regional clubs.
Wood, Mitch Wallis, Patrick Veszpremi and Lukas Markovic joined Cavendish players training at Hamilton Recreation Reserve.