STRENGTH and power.
That will be the focus for Carlton during the pre-season according to Director of High Performance Andrew Russell.
The Blues will be looking to stack on the muscle over the next coming weeks as they prepare to solidify a fast-paced, energetic brand of football in 2021.
A heavy focus was put on increasing strength over the off-season, with Russell pleased with some of the results he's seen already.
“We really worked hard in the off-season on increasing their strength and becoming more powerful as athletes,” Russell said.
“We’re already seeing that out there and there’s guys that have been in the system five, six, seven years – they’ve got stronger. Some of them have put on two, three, four kilos of muscle mass.
“We’re certainly stronger and more powerful which is what we set out do when we left the hub.”
Russell spoke about the new-look program, believing it will challenge even some of the more senior members of the team.
However, with a shorter pre-season period and a desire to play finals football in 2021, Russell saw the push as a necessary one.
“The program was probably the most challenging program I’ve ever set for a group,” he said.
“A huge amount of responsibility now goes back onto the players because we’ve got the shortest pre season we’ve ever had. There’s no room for error.
“It’s such a tough game and the guys that do the work are the ones that perform regardless of talent. Talent does not get you there anymore. It might have been 10-15 years you could get away with it, but it’s a harder game.”
While impressed with the efforts of the team as a whole, Russell signalled the emerging Blues as some of the best performers of the pre-season so far.
The likes of Zac Fisher, Sam Walsh, Paddy Dow and Will Setterfield were a few of the standouts during the pre-Christmas training period.
“Our younger guys have been very impressive and that’s the group we needed to be impressive,” he said.
“Zac Fisher is showing real maturity, he’s 3kg heavier, he knows what it’s about now so he’s training with real purpose.
“Sam Walsh has gone to another level, his intent is just absolutely first class in everything he does.
“Setterfield and Dowy have probably been particularly impressive as well.”