K rock Football

Fundamental focus for Modda

Modewarre coach Chris Hickey (krockfootball.com.au Image/Al Packer)

FOR many local football clubs, the block of training before Christmas has served to build fitness through a range of torturous running drills that has many players wondering why they didn’t wait until January to make an appearance.

However, 2020 is proving to be the antithesis of what had become the norm at many clubs, with the key focus reconnecting with players who have been displaced from the game they love due to COVID-19.

Modewarre is no exception, with the Warriors last together as a group at a practice match in mid-March.

“I see it more a fundamentals-based pre-season up until Christmas,” coach Chris Hickey said. “Blokes have got to get used to using their hands and their feet and their legs again.

“We’ve also got a fairly conscious approach about not overcooking the players too much.

“We don’t want any pre-season injuries, especially with soft tissue, because they can hang around for a while.”

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Assistant coaches Tom Hornsey and Ollie Butler have been charged with overseeing the strength and conditioning.

“And they’re focused on running and conditioning program, and it hasn’t been too strenuous,” Hickey said.

“We’re just running with the balls and getting as much touch as possible.

“We just want the guys to get out and have a bit of fun and enjoy each other’s company more than anything else.”

Hickey was due to share the role with 2019 co-coach Seamus Orr and star midfielder Mitch Fisher before the 2020 season was cancelled.

However, the former Geelong West-St Peter’s stalwart will go it alone in 2021, and he admits that reality was front of mind when pre-season commenced last week.

“Not having the two other boys to lean on, and even Josh (Finch) and John (Meesen) have moved on from their coaching positions,” Hickey said.

“So, yeah, I must admit I was a bit nervous taking on the major role. But, we’ve put some pretty good support in place.

“And dealing with ‘Fitzy’ (president Michael Fitzgerald) for the last four years puts you at ease with the support you’ve got around the club.”

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Hickey says retaining the majority of the list that had committed to 2020 has also made life easier for a solo coach.

“We’re lucky in that respect that we’ve retained the majority of our list,” he said.

“And there was scope for pre-season up until March, so there’s no unfamiliarity with knowing all of the players.

“We’ve recruited a couple in, which is good.

“I felt pretty comfortable knowing that the relationship with the players has been pretty good anyway.”

Twitter: @tom_king79