Second-year Tiger Brandon Ellis is tearing up the training track this pre-season
Snapshot: The young Tigers started on November 1 and the rest of the list gradually came back in the weeks following. With Punt Road being resurfaced, they initially used the facilities at Moorabbin, then trained at Victoria Park and ran time trials at Princes Park, with later work to come at Trevor Barker Beach Oval in Sandringham. A nine-day training camp in Cairns awaited, with a combination of football training and team bonding exercises. Strength and conditioning work used equipment such as tyres, sledgehammers, kettle bells and monkey bars, and they had visits from Queensland big-wave surf cult hero Mark Visser – who took them for an underwater session – and Professor Chris Minson from the University of Oregon who taught them the benefits of training in warm conditions. They also competed in a three-day 'Amazing Race', where players had to decipher clues and do things like a steep orienteering hike, mountain bike circuit, outrigging and archery.
Break: The Tigers finished on December 22 and return on January 3.
Draftee watch: Since arriving at the club across November and December, draftees Kamdyn McIntosh and Matthew McDonough have moved in with rookie Cadeyn Williams and international rookie Gideon Simon in the club's share house. The two draftees, along with Nick Vlastuin and Liam McBean, are all training and none arrived with injuries. From the four rookies who were taken in December, Ricky Petterd (achilles) and Sam Lonergan (ankle) are still coming back from operations and are scheduled to be in full training in the New Year.
Burning: Second-year Tiger Brandon Ellis is tearing up the training track with multiple victories in time trials while Dustin Martin has shed weight and is looking good. Recently, defender Bachar Houli said Martin had responded well to the guidance of new development coach Mark Williams and was applying himself to the Tigers' pre-season regime. Second-year defender Steve Morris and Houli are others who have impressed.
Medical room: Jake King had a whopping five surgeries but is about a month ahead of schedule, with his knee still being monitored, while Dylan Grimes needed a hamstring tendon tear repaired in November. Both are aiming for round one. Jack Riewoldt is coming back from hip surgery and is not with the main group yet, while Nathan Foley is up to 70 per cent body weight running on the AlterG and is progressing well. Troy Chaplin is recovering well from knee surgery and Ivan Maric is easing into training to manage the groin injury he carried this year.
What they say: "It's a good feeling amongst the boys at the moment and everyone is quite enjoying the pre-season for a change. It's actually really exciting. Drafting those older mature boys we got, when they rocked up to the club it gave the boys a boost because it added a lot of depth. It also puts a lot of pressure on the guys up above. When you've got the guys below putting pressure on, the guys above seem to perform a lot better. Then the team will perform a lot better, which leads to winning more games." – Jake King, December 11, 2012.
NAB Cup schedule:
Round one: v Hawthorn and North Melbourne, Etihad Stadium, Friday February 22
Round two: v Essendon, Wangaratta, Saturday March 2
Round three: v Hawthorn, Aurora Stadium, Launceston, Saturday March 9