SETTING the agenda across the board.
That was the mandate for Carlton’s pre-season camp to Mooloolaba and Director of High Performance Andrew Russell liked what he saw.
Arriving on the Sunshine Coast on Sunday morning, the Blues wrapped up a rigorous week on Friday in testing conditions up north.
In comparison to his first training camp with the Club this time 12 months ago, Russell said there was one big takeaway in particular.
“The main thing was we had more players who were able to get the work done,” Russell told Carlton Media.
“We know how good it is up here, we know how well the boys recover in this environment. We trained hard, all based around our skills program.
“We did a lot of competitive drills: we really ramped up the one-on-one, compete, brutal training within our skills sessions.”
With more numbers on the track who were able to complete full sessions, Russell said the benefits that presents to the wider group couldn’t be understated.
As David Teague mentioned the Club’s emerging depth mid-week, Russell believed the players were realising it’s going to require more and more to pull on the Navy Blue jumper.
“We’ve got more players on the track: part of that is the competition for sports is harder,” he said.
“That’s what the players are working out themselves. They’re thinking ‘Geez, there are a lot of guys here who can go through the midfield’.
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“‘What does our forward set-up look like?’. ‘What does it look like in defence?’
“If we hold up and have a good run in [the injury] space, we feel like we’ve got some genuine depth there.”
A lot of work on camp was also done away from the ground, with Russell mentioning the progress made in what the playing group stands for.
All of it was player-led, and Russell said that it was a significant focus area for the year to come.
“We know the best teams are the ones that take ownership of where they want to go,” he said.
“They have good guidance around them, but they’ve got to drive the standards.
“We did some really good work on our values and how the boys want to play and how they want to live. They’re really setting the agenda.”