Belief & Enthusiam - words that are often bandied about early in a season. But these are more than just words to the close-knit group of players representing the Ajax Football Club in 2015.
With one of the largest ever turn-outs at an Ajax pre-season camp, more than 50 players took part in the 2015 pre-season camp place last weekend at Grossmans Country Cottages in Torquay.
Players, coaches and committee members all left the 2-day camp with an air of expectation and excitement for the 2015 season ahead.
A 6.00AM start on Saturday morning was always going to be a tough assignment, but as has happened in all of the pre-season training sessions, the players hit the track with enthusiasm and purpose for new coach, Marty Pask.
Following a hearty breakfast provided by "Rocky" (club stalwart Peter Rockman), everyone present, players and committee members alike, were treated to an inspirational session with Assistant coach, Rob Patterson, who was left a paraplegic after being hit by a semi-trailer while on a training ride over 20 years ago. His injuries where multiple and severe, and included a spinal injury in his lower back, his pelvis was fractured in 7 places, major fracture in his arm and a skull fracture. Now a highly regarded coach in his field, Rob imparted his experiences in overcoming adversity in life, and related it back to the adversities the players can face on a footy field, and their lives.
Coach Pask then addressed the players and set out the on-field game plan for the players for the coming season, and introduced the "influence" group who will be the leaders of the club, both on and off the field, in 2015.
The main training session in the afternoon was a solid 2-hour hit out for the playing group, before taking a well earned recovery session in the surf at Torquay.
Some free time late on Saturday afternoon allowed the players to prepare for the evening social activities, including a player BBQ, at which all of the players dressed as their favourite AFL player. At this point, readers will have to understand that what happens on camp ... stays on camp!
More than a few sore heads woke at 6.30AM on Sunday for another early morning training session. After a light workout, the players gathered as a group and sang the Ajax club song as a sign of solidarity for the season to come.
The 2-day camp is just the start of the campaign for the Ajax Football Club in 2015. New Coach, Marty Pask, has brought a fresh attitude to the club, which has strengthened the resolve of the players to achieve success in the coming season.
Three trial matches follow in the next 3 weeks, followed by an intra-club match at Moorabbin on Erev Pesach (see the schedule below)
Trial matches have been scheduled as follows
Saturday March 14 v University Blacks Venue: Bulleen (Oval 1)
Saturday March 21 v Aspendale Venue:Aspendale
Sunday March 29 v Montmorency Venue:Montmorency
Good Friday April 3 Intra-Club Venue:Moorabbin
The club looks forward to seeing all of the club supporters attending the trial matches.