willow last edited by
Tigers’ young guns re-sign as Folkes puts heat on squad
Greg Prichard | November 20, 2009
Wests Tigers high-performance manager Steve Folkes has been in the job for barely two weeks, but the players already feel he is challenging them to reach new levels of physical fitness.
And if a fitter body leads to a sounder mind and helps turn a few of those narrow losses that were the difference for the Tigers last season into wins next season - getting them to the finals - then the former Bulldogs premiership-winning coach will have done his job.
Three Tigers players - Tim Moltzen, Beau Ryan and Blake Ayshford - yesterday spoke of their decisions to extend their contracts with the club, and provided an insight into the effect Folkes is having with his highly disciplined approach.
The trio was off contract at the end of next season, but are now committed until the end of 2012.
‘‘We’re seeing it with little things, like in the gym the music’s off at the moment, and there’s no talking in the gym, which is about encouraging you to concentrate on doing your work,’’ Moltzen said. ''You can talk when you’re not working.
''It’s tough, but every pre-season is. ‘Folkesy’ has been really good. I’m enjoying what we’re doing. We’re getting through it with his help. You know, it’s our job and we do what we’ve got to do.
‘‘Some of the stuff we’ve done has challenged us, but we’re getting through it, and at this time of the year you’ve got to expect to be put through some challenging things. It’s enjoyable, it’s good fun.’’
The Tigers trained under the midday sun yesterday. The smell was of sun cream rather than liniment.
‘‘Yeah, it’s been pretty hard,’’ Ryan said. ''We’ve been doing a lot of running, and Folkesy likes training in the middle of the day, for some reason. We all had to get bikes, and tomorrow we’ve got swimming. I think we’re going to be the Wests greyhounds, not the Wests Tigers.
‘‘He’s straight down the line. He’s good in the gym for us, we’ve got a lot of new techniques and new methods since he’s been on-board. Everyone’s excited with him, and there’s a mutual respect. It’s the second week, and it already feels like I’ve been here for eight weeks. He’s got a knack for bringing out the best in people, that’s for sure.’’
The Tigers hope they will eventually impress Folkes enough with their attitude to be allowed to turn the music back on.
‘‘There’s no music and no air-conditioner,’’ Ayshford said. ''So we’re sweating up a bit. I think he’s just trying to get us into the pre-season mentality - he’s really working us hard and stamping his authority at the moment, which is good. It’s working on us.
‘‘Hopefully, we’ll start getting the music in and the air-conditioner will start to work soon. One of the boys asked him whether the air-conditioner could be turned on, and he said it was broken. I don’t know whether it’s broken or not - we’re too scared to try it at the moment.’’
The Herald has it on reliable authority that the air-conditioner does work, but none of the players are likely to be silly enough to test Folkes’s authority by switching it on.
Tigerpete last edited by
This is why i’m stoked to have him here. Sometimes it seems things haven’t been professional enough at the club in the past. He as we can see is certainly keeping those heads down and working hard.
851 last edited by
Folkes is aprofessional,a winner and a good bloke,he can only enhance our club.
Juro last edited by
Interesting stuff. I just hope he keeps the balance right and the players don’t start getting fed up. Round 1 is a long way away and the grand final is even further away. We don’t want our players burned out or fed up before then…
He is has been around long enough to get the mix right betweem getting them fit and keeping them fresh.
Spartan117 last edited by
Things are building nicley for 2010… I am finding it hard to keep it real…
The team will be raring to go by round 1…
jirskyr last edited by
Still yet to see if fitness = mental toughness. Plenty of fit footballers out there.
I think he will make a huge difference to the team and even more for the young guns who will benifit.
I might be a conspiracy theorist paranoid but I think the ‘powers that be’ have put their stock in the Tigers for next year. All these positive news articles, way more insight into their pre season in the media. Hyping up Cayless and Taumata. I think there is some creepy illuminati plan for us next season. Add to that the Tuqiri thing. I think we’re gonna be a sight happy next season.
I think the fitness= mental toughness thing, is about that you make more poor decisions when you are stuffed, and if you are not tired you can think better and not panic. or, perhaps it is just as simple as all this fitness makes you more disciplined, so you don’t panic when the chips are down.
Even though its corny in parts, thats one of the best pre season articles Ive read in some time
Folkes is old school and a hard nut - just what we need. If it wasn’t for the big heads at the Dogs earlier this decade, they would have won half a dozen premierships under him. Folkes will go down as as one of our best signings to date.
BeeJay last edited by
folkes sounds like he is on the right track at the moment.
get the guys fit and focused and mentally in the right head space to start the year.
go hard early in pre-season and then taper off so that the boys are fresh for the start of the season and jumping out of their skins to get out on that field.
willow last edited by
He’s just had all the players go out and by racing bikes too. Looks like they are going to clock up quite a few kays around Homebush Bay.
Yeah I read that blurb in the tele today too. Said he’s gonna race them in a few weeks!