Warrnambool footballer Matt Colbert helping the Blues - on and off the field

HELPING OUT: Warrnambool defender Matt Colbert's work as a podiatrist is giving the Blues an edge on the football field.
HELPING OUT: Warrnambool defender Matt Colbert's work as a podiatrist is giving the Blues an edge on the football field.

A PLAYER’S profession is helping Warrnambool take strides on the football field.

Podiatrist Matt Colbert is using his experience to ensure the Blues’ next generation is putting its best foot forward – literally.

“I’m a podiatrist working at From The Feet Up in Warrnambool,” he told The Standard on Thursday from the Blues’ final pre-season training before round one.

“Part of my role (at the footy club) at the moment is to implement an injury prevention and performance enhancement program with the younger fellas in the under 16s and 14s, just to try and prevent injury and to also work on strength and speed.

“It’s been going well. The kids love it and they’re really interested in trying to improve themselves as players and obviously you hate to miss games at that age as well.

“They just love going out and playing football every weekend, so they’ve been really into it.”

Colbert is also hoping the Blues’ seniors are on the right track.

The second-year Warrnambool defender is confident the Blues can respond from a rare finals miss and emerge as a threat under new coach Matt O’Brien, starting against Portland at Hanlon Park on Saturday.

“I think after missing finals last year everyone was really eager to get going before Christmas and we’re a lot fitter and faster and ready for the year,” he said.

“A lot of the boys were flithy at the end of the year that they didn’t play finals and we really want to get back in there this year.

“(Matt’s) been great. He was obviously with us last year (as an assistant coach) so we already knew him and it was a lot easier to get started. It’s been about more ball movement and moving the ball as efficiently as we can out of the back line and through the middle of the ground.”

Colbert said the Blues’ recruits would bolster their best 21. He labelled ex-Narre Warren player Luke Cody “a really classy half-forward with a lot of skills” and believes former North Warrnambool Eagle Ben Fleming “looks like a nice smooth mover through the midfield”.