AYC-Friends Lexus Arrows will be hungry for revenge in 2019, after falling short by nine goals at home last season in the big dance.
The clock has been turned back, with four of the 2017 premiership players returning to the squad full time in attempt to bring the silverware back home.
Their players have spent the off-season in the gym, with several using the very popular among F45 Training, as a process for developing a base level of fitness and conditioning. AYC as a club offered weekly fitness sessions during pre-season, starting in early January. These were a combinations of running sessions, some in the gym and some cross training. Particularly, the 19U players took advantage of this program to help with their cardiovascular and strength training in the lead up to the season.
With the roster for TNL being changed to start earlier, four weeks preparation time was lost. This changed the focus of the early weeks of training from purely fitness work to include a lot of ball work. Working skills-based training around strength and conditioning to quickly get players up to speed in both categories.
The first weeks of training combined both the 19’s and Opens players, to allow the younger players to see how the more experienced players prepare and the level of skill required to play TNL. This also provided the Senior players with a few fresh faces to help push them to reach high levels.
The first phase of the training sessions saw a lot of work around ball skills and match play with the 19’s and Opens combining in teams to again help develop the younger players and expose them to a high level of match play early in their careers. In the coming weeks sessions will look more to work the two groups into their own units and start to develop systems, strategies and combinations.
Arrows have a strong history in the Opens league and will once again be recognised as a tough competitor in 2019. Sophie Gunn in goals will be a strong target under the post again this year. Sophie shot at 90% last season, with an average of 60.6 goals a game. Gunn, combining with the return of Prins, will make it tough for the opposition defenders.
The 19U’s looked in good shape at the pre-season carnival, as they were triumphant across southern rivals Karana and Kingston. They bring into the season a relatively unchanged side, with only three new players, including Marahn Aitken from OHA, Holly McConnon from STNA roster and Ella Cooney, State 15U player in 2018. The team will be looking to push for a top four finish and potentially a revisit to the big final like in 2017.
2018 FINAL PLACINGS:
Opens – 2nd
19U – 7th