Money in the Bank

 

Ask any WAFL footballer and the term 'pre-season' is synonymous with pain. Just the mention of the dreaded, hyphenated P word evokes images of grueling time trials, ruthless skin fold testing, blood, sweat and vomit.

 

Pre-season is a stage where some players shine brightly, cruising past teammates kilometre after kilometre with apparent ease. For others the months of November to February would much rather be forgotten… and year after year that's exactly what happens.

By the time March roles around the fear and dread of 5 back to back 1km time trials is replaced with the intangible buzz of the sight of goal posts being hoisted and the smell of the boundary lines being painted.

The hyphenated P word is over, the weights and running programs are filed away to gather dust for 7 months, it's served it's sole purpose of providing a fitness reserve to be drawn from through out the season, or as Subiaco young gun Chris Deluca puts it, it's now 'money in the bank'.

"The hardest part was probably the 5 back to back 1 km time trials but for me it was all about finding the right frame of mind and then getting them done." Deluca said.

For the 18-year-old, who was surprisingly overlooked in the AFL draft last season, just being able to complete the rigorous program was a win.

"It's been tough, it's my first real pre-season so it's been tough but enjoyable it's good to get on the track at least four months before the season starts," Deluca said.

"My back injury means I haven't been able to do a full pre-season before so it's the first year to get the full program in."

As a colt Deluca was diagnosed with stress fractures and a pars defect in his lower back and was forced to watch on from the sidelines for the entire 2011 season.

The following year, despite a scaled back pre-season program, Deluca was selected to represent WA in under 18s and also managed to make 8 senior appearances for Subiaco in which he booted 13 goals.

Known for his aggressive attack on the ball the Karrinyup product says his injury woes are behind him and he's in the best physical condition of his life.

"I feel a lot better, a lot fitter, a lot stronger all around. I feel like I can run out four quarters a lot better than what I could in previous years." He said.

With three pre-season games under his belt Deluca and his teammates turn their attention from pre-season to the real stuff. The Lions have a bye in the opening round and Deluca says it's all eyes on round 2 against West Perth.

"The squad looks great I'm really excited for this year and I think we will be a much stronger side compared to last year." he said.

 

 

 

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