IF YOU’RE looking to get fit, there’s no secret method; just ask Kade Chandler.
The 21-year-old went above and beyond over the off-season to give himself the best platform for 2021.
And with a 40-second time trial ‘PB’ (personal best), it’s fair to say those extras paid off.
“I did a fair bit of work in the off-season and in the Christmas break to give myself the best chance to have a good pre-season and hopefully play a few games this year,” Chandler told Melbourne Media.
“I wasn’t really happy with where I was at, I felt like I wasn’t getting as much out of myself as I should’ve been.
“He helped me out and I did a bit of extra running, and now I’m pretty happy with where I’m at.”
With an extended off-season break, Chandler understood the importance of building his fitness away from the club.
“I think because the pre-season was a lot shorter there was a higher demand and expectation for us to come back in better condition than what we usually would,” he said.
“And I think the boys absolutely nailed that.
“As a group collectively, we feel like we’re in a good place with our fitness, and personally I’m in the same boat – I feel like I’m ready to go as soon as the season rolls around.”
Since making his debut in Round 22, 2019, Chandler hasn’t been seen again at AFL level.
He got injured in that clash with the Swans, and unfortunately, luck hasn’t followed.
“I spent 25 weeks in rehab last year,” he said.
“I broke my hand three times, so I found that challenging – being in rehab and trying to get my health right as a first priority.
“Being in the hub didn’t bother me too much, I suppose it was a bit frustrating not being able to play proper 18 v 18 games, but those hard times make you better off.”
Chandler, who was taken with pick No.15 in the 2019 Rookie Draft, showed promise as a small forward in his first year at the club.
But when he was able to get out on the park last season, he was trialled in a role across half-back, with the club looking to capitalise on his classy left foot.
“I suppose it’s good to have that string in your bow, now that I have played down back, but I think forward’s my main position,” he said.
“So I think forward is my spot, but it’s good to be able to have that back up if need be.”
The Dees are in a strong position with depth in their small forward stocks, which only adds to the challenge Chandler faces to break into the best 22.
But that hasn’t discouraged him, nor his teammates.
“Us small forward’s, myself, Kozzy (Kysaiah Pickett), Nibbler (Alex Neal-Bullen), Spargs (Charlie Spargo), we all work pretty closely together on our touch and drop of ball stuff,” he said.
“And I’ve been working really closely with Staff just around my role and how to become the best at that.”
With plenty of determination, Chandler has given himself the best opportunity to attack his third season as a Demon, hoping to show exactly what he’s capable of at the top level.