The two new commandos

Left to right: Toby Horak and James Doyle practice what they preach with some push ups. 

If the Subiaco players think Jarrad Schofield will be a hard taskmaster this summer, they will face double-trouble with two new drill sergeants to answer to this pre-season.

Toby Horak and James Doyle have joined Subiaco as the club’s new fitness staff, replacing Matt Barber, who served as the club’s fitness coach for two seasons.  

Horak has worked as the strength and conditioning coach at the Western Australian Police Academy since he recently moved to Perth after stints with the Brisbane Lions and Gold Coast Suns in the AFL.

Horak says the contrast of the Police Academy and Subiaco Football Club provides good variety to his workweek.

“It’s kind of a bit interesting working with a different kind of level of fitness (at the Academy) than in the normal football industry, but it’s a good challenge and it’s good to have a bit more people management stuff in it,” he says.  

Doyle, who is still in the process completing his studies, will be in charge of all of the running programs for the Subiaco players across the pre-season and says he aims to bring a fresh approach.

“I’ll admit they’re not going to be happy after pre-season with me, but they’re looking for change and they’re liking the new running programs and training so far, so they’re enjoying, which is good,” he says.

And while Doyle may have the tougher task out of the two new fitness staff with many of the lads fond of the weights room but not so much the track, he says they can’t avoid the running.

“From a running perspective you can’t hide,” he says.

“There is no way of shying off and holding back because you can stand out if you don’t do the right stuff.”

And Doyle wants to see improvement with the whole group not just individuals.

“Collectively as a group there’s still a lot ahead of us, so the challenge has been set by the coaches to really lift these guys, not so much individually, but collectively as a group and try and position them as being the best conditioned team out there.”

“Be ready to go from round one and carry that through rather than just plod along and hope for the best.”

With his AFL background, Horak says he has been immediately impressed with the professionalism of the Subiaco group.

“I think there’s a good deal of professionalism amongst the majority of the players from just what I’ve seen in the past few weeks,” he says.

“It looks like guys are putting in the effort and want to succeed as individuals and as a team.”

Horak says: “(It’s about) developing a program that can fit the players at this level, which aren’t necessarily elite but are striving to get there.”

“So you’ve to work in there these guys aren’t full-time athletes, but you’ve got to train them to a level that they can perform to that level.”

Subiaco have started back with full pre-season training this week.

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