CO-CAPTAIN Jack Grimes says there is an air of anticipation and a different feel around the club now that the players have returned from their Christmas break.
The runner-up to Nathan Jones in last year’s best and fairest award said he was “loving being back” knowing what’s around the corner next month: Melbourne’s first NAB Cup encounter on Friday, February 22 against North Melbourne and Richmond at Etihad Stadium.
“You know that games are coming close, and I can’t wait for the footy and building up to games,” he told melbournefc.com.au.
“Touch wood, we’ve got a lot of guys out on the track at the moment, so hopefully it keeps going well.”
After Melbourne’s tough pre-Christmas training period, which included a nine day camp in the Northern Territory, Grimes said it was important that the players had some time away from the club.
“Christmas is the last opportunity you get to have a real mental and physical break from the club for the whole season, basically,” he said.
“You go away for a few days here and there [during the season], but it’s really good that guys from interstate can go home and see their families, and catch up with friends.
“You know that once you’re back, you’re into business and you’re right into it again.”
Still, Grimes suggested the time away from the club wasn’t all about pulling bon bons around the Christmas table and relaxing on the couch on Christmas afternoon.
“The running in the break was pretty tough,” he said.
“Our mindset going into the Christmas break was that we were doing the exact same program, it’s just that we were moving it away from the club.
“It wasn’t a physical break as such, but it was more a mental thing to get away from the club.”
The 23 year-old added that he was right back on track with his training after a modified training pre-Christmas.
“Personally, it’s really good to be back. I missed a little bit of training before Christmas, so it was good to come back into the full session on the Monday we started back,” he said.
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