Members of the first grade squad participated in the Yo-Yo test last week for the second time this season to see where they're sitting when it comes to their fitness.
The Yo-Yo test is a dreaded training drill, but an accurate and important test that can determine whether or not players are fit to play first grade football.
According to the Club's Sports Scientist Kris Veugelers, running the test twice not only tests the squad's fitness, but tells an accurate story about the Club training program.
"The Yo-Yo test is a test of intermittent and high intensity running," Kris said of the test.
"We did the Yo-Yo test when the boys first came back in November and re-tested them again last week.
"We generally test them at the start of pre-season to see what kind of condition they’ve come back to training in, then we test at the end of pre-season to see how they’ve improved as a result of the training they’ve done."
Kris thinks there are benefits to both, but they must be tied in together in order to get the right results for the players and the training staff.
"There’s good benefits to both, obviously it’s important for us to get an indication of how they’ve returned from the break.
"Some players are really good and look after themselves, while some players will come back and potentially need some more work.
"It’s all individually based, we just like to see where each individual is at and base our training prescription from that.
"We can also see where they rate and how they’ve improved or declined based on historical data from past pre-seasons.
"First of all we want to see how the boys have changed and improved with their own individual fitness, and also how effective our pre-season program has been."
We asked Kris whether or not the players need to meet the same standard by the end of pre-season, but he's learned after plenty of testing that it's more about the individual than the group.
"There’s a general standard that we want most of the players to stick to.
"Everyone has a base level of fitness in this sport, but that can be different based on the position they play, their training age, how long they’ve been in the system for and a lot of other genetic factors.
"We might look at young guys different to older guys or we might group them based on position."
Everyone has been preaching how good the young members of the squad have been in the pre-season, and Kris only reinforced that point.
"The young guys have been really impressive.
"They’ve had more training and a longer time to improve, but I think everyone’s really impressed with them and how they’ve attacked the pre-season.
"Really resilient, adapting well and showing great improvement from a physical point of view.
"We’re really happy with how the whole pre-season has gone, and in particular with the younger guys."