Positive first impressions for new and returning Blues

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Matt Harman has been part of an impressive Northern Blues training group in the early stages of pre-season. (PHOTO CREDIT: Northern Blues Football Club)

With the Northern Blues ticking into their second week of pre-season training, a collection of returning and new Blues have shone.

Last night marked a week since the players returned to the track, and Northern Blues High Performance Manager Steven Tiricola said there was reason for optimism after the early signs.

As a smaller training group compared to past seasons toiled in the Melbourne sun, Tiricola was quick to credit the squad as a whole for their application over the break.

“We’ve been impressed with the players who have really taken to the program: a number of them have either returned or arrived in great shape,” Tiricola said.

“Will Krithararis registered the fastest time in the 20-metre sprint, while Glenn Strachan showed the evidence of a big off-season by winning the two-kilometre time trial.”

Just a bit warm on the track tonight for @williamkrithararis and the rest of the boys… ????

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Tiricola credited the vice-captain of the last two seasons, saying he had been one to “set the standard” for a group of younger players putting their best foot forward.

“Young Brody Tardio came in just behind him which was good to see,” Tiricola said.

“Coming from the Northern Knights, Matt Harman had experience with us last year and has also impressed due to his ability to endure for a young tall and showing leadership ability when under duress.”

Tiricola said the over-arching focus of the upcoming season would be to get the Northern Blues “finals footy fit” after coming painstakingly close in 2017.

“We’ve got to build what’s currently a young group up to VFL training loads.”

A group of players who will have their training managed are the likes of Mason Blakey, Bailey Jordan and Kane Keppel, who are all returning from injury.

“Mason has a back issue and will be back into drills around early to mid-December, as will Angus Milham in his recovery from his knee injury,” Tiricola said.

“Both Bailey and ‘Kepp’ are in the early stages of rehab after ankle surgery: we’re hoping they’ll be back in drills by mid-January.”