WHEN the boys from Essendon arrive in Coffs Harbour today, all of the players will know that the week they spend at the Novotel Pacific Bay Resort will be a long way from a holiday.
The club's football operations manager Paul Hamilton said the key objectives of the camp will be game strategy and tactics as well as leadership.
“We will work closely with each player on leadership skills and there will be a bit of classroom time and walking through plays,” he said.
“There has been six weeks hard conditioning work done leading up to the camp and while there will be some skills and conditioning work at the camp, it's not the usual flog them army-type camp.
“This will be an opportunity to get all the players together, bring people closer together and give us a chance to really hone in on what our specific goals are for players.
“All the guys that have just been drafted will get the chance to go along to the camp and bond with their new team-mates and the new staff will be there too so they get the chance to mix with the players and get to know them better. We want everyone really working well together.”
Hamilton said Coffs Harbour was selected as the venue for the week away because it is an exciting, refreshing place for the players to go and it certainly meets the club's training needs.
“We will train where the Australian Rugby team has their training camp so we know there is a quality facility there,” he said.
“Our contacts at the Wallabies have talked the facility up so we think it will fulfil our needs. They have the weights facilities there, they have one and half rugby fields which will be enough for a football field and it's kept in really good condition.
“The place we will stay in is just down the road from the sporting facilities, the beach is nearby which is good for recovery and there are classroom settings so it has all those things.”
Hamilton said while the visit is mostly a closed training camp, there will an open training session held at the Novotel Pacific Bay ground on Friday morning and he hopes that anyone interested in having a look will come along and see the team.
“People can come along to one of our skills sessions and have a bit of a look and get up and close to the players,” he said.
“This is an area that is a growth area for the AFL so anything we can do to promote the game is good.”