I had the pleasure of attending a training session for the first time this week. Watching the boys run around I have a new appreciation for their size and fitness. Some things I observed:
- An intense fitness drill that lasted about 20 minutes. Packer was surprising in leading the way. His and Tamou’s leadership skills were on display. I can understand why Packer was named this week.
- Joe O seems popular among the team and fans. Went out of his way to say hello to the few casual observers (including me). Is quite a vocal and fun presence among the team, along with a smiling Zane Musgrove.
- Tom Amone getting absolutely caned by the trainer in his rehab drills.
- Tommy Talau strutting around on cloud 9. Has a quiet confidence to him and also popular amongst teammates.
- There was only one player I couldn’t recognise, despite unmistakeable hair. It was a stocky Islander with a shaved head except for an afro/man-bun at the back. Does anyone know who that is?
- Madge is a legend, went out of the way to take photos and speak with one or two of the older fans and encouraged the players to also do so
- A group of about 20 indigenous youths from Newcastle attended as part of a community outreach program, led by their caseworker who I had a quick yarn with (I think his name was Jake). The young fellas enjoyed catching balls as the players practised their bombs
- Speaking of bombs, Alan Fitzgibbon has a wicked swirling spiral bomb, but I doubt he’d ever get to use it being stuck on the wing.