JOSH Corbett is fitter than he's ever been.
The North Warrnambool Eagles export, who has completed his third pre-season with AFL club Gold Coast Suns, is reaping the rewards of an off-season running program with a twist.
Corbett already boasts a strong endurance base but has spent time alongside Gold Coast Run Co - a specialist running business - as he looks to strengthen his bid for a round one call-up.
The early signs are good. Things have been easier on the track and the fitness base has allowed the 24-year-old to spend more time sharpening skills with coaches.
"(Gold Coast Run Co) go three times a week as professional runners," Corbett told The Standard.
That was something I focused on, coming back in really good physical condition so I could get into the skills work as soon as possible.Josh Corbett
"The sessions would sometimes include a five-kilometre run with interval stuff. It might be three minutes on, two minutes off, that sort of stuff. It could also be sets of one kilometre, 400 metres.
"I really enjoyed going to test myself and get out of my comfort zone. To go and train with people who were head and shoulders better runners than I was, that was enjoyable. I was able to understand a bit more about the technique side of things.
"That was something I focused on, coming back in really good physical condition so I could get into the skills work as soon as possible."
Corbett said the rest of his pre-season had been dedicated to goalkicking and work on his marking craft.
"I've tried to keep a football in the hands as much as I can," he said.
"When I was home in Warrnambool and even up here I had some mates come up here and we'd go for a kick and just try to keep that pretty consistent.
"I tried to keep the feel of the football so it's not as foreign when you get back into full training."
Things aren't just clicking on the footy field for the former Werribee forward. Life off the field has never been better.
"I'm loving it. My partner, Mikayla, is studying midwifery up here," Corbett said.
"She loves it. It's nice, it feels like we're really settled now.
"I love my golf and I don't know if you've been up to the coast much but there's a course pretty much five minutes in every direction you drive.
"We really enjoy playing on our days off. It's nice and competitive and we've sort of made up a little fake 'Masters jacket' which we pull out every two or three months.
"Sometimes the handicaps can be a bit dodgy - the boys will be rocking up having 45 points (in stableford) and it doesn't make any sense."
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The beach - much like it is in Warrnambool - is also a place of peace for the tall forward.
Corbett's Suns will play off against Queensland rival Brisbane Lions - which features fellow Hampden league export Hugh McCluggage - in the final AFL pre-season hit out on Monday night.
He said the growing rivalry - which if flourishing as both clubs push into premiership windows - was vital to the success of football in the sunshine state.
"It's what you train all pre-season to do, get out there and have some fun," Corbett said.
"Brisbane are obviously pushing into a premiership window and we're looking to try and continue (to grow).
"We think if we keep our consistency on the field we can push for finals. That's certainly our goal."
Corbett said the AFL's decision to revert back to 20-minute quarters was something he'd embrace.
The Suns play West Coast Eagles in round one.
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