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Developing rucks impress No.1 big man

Matt Burgan  January 21, 2016 1:08 AM

Max Gawn says Melbourne’s young ruckmen are making progress (Photo: Matt Goodrope)

Max Gawn says Melbourne’s young ruckmen are making progress (Photo: Matt Goodrope)

MAX Gawn says fellow ruckmen – draftee Mitch King and rookie Max King – are making good progress in their craft.  

Gawn, who is now considered one of the best ruckmen in the competition after taking his game to another level in the second half of last year, said the early signs of Mitch King, plus the conditioned development of Max King was encouraging.  

“Kingy (Max King) and ‘Prince’ (Mitch King) – he’s not quite a king yet – they’re both getting a lot of sessions done and you can tell Mitch has got a lot of talent,” he told Dee TV.  

“He (Mitch King) can kick the footy better than me already, which is scary, but they’re both where I was six years ago, so hopefully I can tell them a few handy little tips.”

Looking at his own form, Gawn feels his ruck work has gone to another level over the pre-season.

“It’s really escalating now and tomorrow (Wednesday) ruck coach ‘Staf’ (Greg Stafford) will be here and I’ll do a bit of work with him,” he said.

“What helps is that me and ‘Pence’ (Jake Spencer) are very similar with our ruck craft. He’s very strong and upright, so he’s a very good challenge. To have both of us there fit gives us a good challenge.”

Gawn said the fact he was on track to complete his first full pre-season was also making a difference.

“This is the first pre-season I’ve done fully so far,” he said.

“In my third year, I did my knee in January, so you couldn’t really claim that as a pre-season, but so far, I’ve done every session possible.

“They tried to pull me out of one session the other day, but I said that I wanted to do it and tick off every session. So far that’s good and with a full pre-season, hopefully I’ll have a better season.”

Reflecting on the camp at the halfway point, Gawn said it had been a really encouraging few days for the group.

“It’s been a good camp. We’ve just taken what we’ve done in the last few weeks in Melbourne and taken it up here, so there are no surprises. We haven’t had any 5am beach sessions – yet – which is good,” he said.

“We’ve been lucky with the weather – we thought it was going to be 35 degrees every day, but it was raining the first session and the second session it was a little bit overcast and windy. But I can’t talk too soon, because it’s supposed to be 35 on Friday.

“It’s a pretty good start to what will hopefully be a pretty good season.”