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I remain convinced that BA will try to find a spot for him somewhere in the 17.2: Daniel Alvaro Arguably the poster boy for effort and application.As the pre-season progressed, and BA, Murf and Joey drilled Parra’s plays, you could see the skills development come to the fore.Even opposed sessions demonstrated that the squad were executing what was being coached. I only witnessed the field sessions, but even then there were multiple activities happening simultaneously – rehab, conditioning, skills, individual, group.Back on November 10, I reported on the first week of pre-season training.The Rugby League World Cup was playing havoc with the availability of players for their clubs and only 10 players returned to that first week at Old Saleyards.Planning the workload for the season proper then becomes significant to ensure than performance across the year remains high.The hills at Lake Gillawarna were a weekly feature through the early part of the pre-season, but they were balanced with lighter days.

First and foremost, the Eels are blessed with the guru of skills coaches in Joey Grima.Talk to anyone involved in the game and they’ll vouch for the important impact that pre-seasons have on the development of players. From conditioning, to skills, Smith has caught the eye.His versatility in covering everything from 1 to 7 (plus 9) in the opposed sessions has been impressive.The technical aspects and associated drills also have an element of “pre-habilitation” – lessening the likelihood of particular injuries.

Balancing the physical workload across each day, and across the week is of paramount importance.

Since those early weeks, we’ve witnessed the training progress from the demanding conditioning, to a conclusion of footy preparation. Without question, the players are in superb physical condition, and many appear to have changed their body shape.