TIMBOON Demons are bucking the trend in an era of overly structured and demanding pre-season football programs.
Coach Mick Hunt is cautious of how country football can skew players’ work-life balance.
He is confident the Warrnambool and District league club can be a premiership threat without impeding on other aspects of his charges’ lives.
“We are going along steadily. I’d have to say steadily because we’ll probably only get our first full session on Saturday with everyone available, bar one or two,” Hunt said.
“Everyone’s been training spasmodically. We’ve got a few in Melbourne, a few working up country on drills and god knows what.
“Cricket is over so we’ll start to concentrate on footy now. I always used to say it’s really hard to focus on two sports at once and I think the cricket season takes its place.
“Our boys (at Heytesbury Rebels) the last three years have played grand finals so to go straight from that to the hot-pot of footy...you need to have a bit of a break, switch off for a while, have a bit of a rest and get ready for the footy.
“We have the round one bye so we still have plenty of time to get ourselves together and come out ready to play the season.”
Hunt believes the self-belief the Demons evoked playing finals in 2017 would be invaluable. They’ve also boosted their height department with Sam Negrello, Kris Ward and Ben Harding coming in to complement Marcus ‘Barney’ Hickey.
“Last year if we took ‘Barney’ out of the midfield and put him forward we sort of battled, so this way will give us a bit an even spread,” he said. “They’re all blokes over six-foot – that’s just something we haven’t had.”