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Melbourne Football Club

Camp a great success: McDonald

DEFENDER Tom McDonald says the influence of Leading Teams during Melbourne’s three-day pre-season camp at Sorrento was “really beneficial”.

McDonald said Leading Teams’ involvement at the camp was to facilitate conversations, but he added that it was up to the players “to take action now and make it worthwhile”.

“I had a quick look at it (Leading Teams) in my first season, when Dean Bailey was coach. But it probably wasn’t as successful as it needed to be and the results showed that,” he said.

“It was all about having discussions and where we want to take ourselves as a team.

“The players, coaches and support staff were all involved in discussions and then [the players help drive] the direction of where we want to take the club.”

The Demons stayed on the Mornington Peninsula from lunchtime Monday until Wednesday afternoon. The focus of the camp was on building relationships, leadership and being introduced to coach Paul Roos’ game plan. Some training was also part of the trip, but not the primary objective.

“We trained at Casey Fields on Monday and then did some Leading Teams in the afternoon. We had some basic discussions to open things up before dinner and then had a couple of meetings at night. It was a pretty busy day with our main training session, but we got a lot out of it,” McDonald said.

“On Tuesday, we went down to the Sorrento Sharks footy oval, which was really good and they helped us out with a few facilities. We had some training with the mids, forwards and backs. We all split up in our groups and did our normal Tuesday sessions, which included boxing and weights.

“We also had a run around the oval and then had a look at Roosy’s game plan for the first time and then had some more Leading Teams in the afternoon.”

On Wednesday, the players were up at 5.30am and completed a bike ride and swim session. 

“We went for a ride for about an hour and then went for a swim in the ocean. We then had a couple of meetings and then went home,” he said.