Fraser: All systems go in 2018


Josh Fraser is looking forward to his players relishing the conditions of pre-season when they return tonight. (PHOTO CREDIT: Northern Blues Football Club)

Senior coach Josh Fraser was buoyed by the signs shown at the end of last year, but has made clear that expectations would be ramped up when the Northern Blues return to pre-season.

The Blues are preparing for their return to training in 2018 tonight, having just ticked under three months before their first game against Collingwood.

Following the excitement and positivity off the back of 2017, Fraser was optimistic about what the players could offer at the resumption of pre-season.

“As a coaching group, we were pleased with our block: I think some of the second and third-year players presented really well and showed they’ve put in a fair bit of work,” Fraser said.

“Some of the new guys have impressed as well: the intent and effort has been what we expect and we’ll challenge them to constantly raise the standards.”

With a raft of new faces joining the club last month, the training group once again has a different look to it heading into the new season.

The senior coach is optimistic that both new and returning Blues can have a substantial impact at VFL level this year.

“I think Josh [Hill] is going to offer us a lot of class, he’s not only a very talented player but he’ll also provide a lot of experience and his experience will be really valuable,” Fraser said.

“Sam Fisher has impressed us already, he’s really composed and uses it well, while we think Jesse Palmer as well will offer us a lot at senior level.

“It’s not limited to those new guys — we’re putting the onus on the likes of Mason Blakey, Kane Keppel, Fraser Pearce and Marcus Stavrou. We need them to own and drive the culture and standards of our club.”

Having had two weeks to refresh, Fraser said he expected his players to hit the ground running with no time to waste.

Heading into his third season as coach, he said it would be all systems go as the Blues get ready for the Pies on Saturday, April 7.

READ MORE: 2018 VFL fixture announced

“We want to continue to get more volume into the players and zero in on areas which we think will take us to the next step, and the players are aware of that,” Fraser said

“In most cases we’re preparing these players for a season of senior football, so it’s going to be a solid block and we’re looking forward to it.

“Christmas is a great time to unwind, to have a break and refresh. But it’s a very competitive industry and you want to get back into it as quickly as possible, we know the work will pay off.”