With pre-season now in full swing, we caught up with Ravens' coach Paul Young, who outlined pre season so far, and his hopes for the 2013-14 season.
Asked on the aims of the sessions so far, Young outlined the need to challenge the players' physicality and conditioning, "We as a coaching team identified from last season that there was a need to improve players' physicality so an emphasis from a conditioning point of view was to develop muscle mass."
"These sessions are combined with technical skills on the field where by we will look to enhance the players' Individual Core Skills and Unit Profiles. We will also introduce games as part of the sessions in the aim to improve aerobic capacity, this allows us to develop skills under fatigue and ultimately help our players reach their potential."
The sessions have been overseen by Conditioning Coach Jason Larkman and new Assistant Conditioning Coach Kyle Barrett, who have been driving the conditioning sessions while Ben Rose (defence skills), Dan Griffiths (attack skills) and Young himself (unit profiling and contact area skills) have been concentrating on the technical delivery of the sessions. Wayne Hall has been keeping us all in check as usual!
On his hopes for the forthcoming season, Young was clear to outline what the Ravens' coaches are looking to improve on from last season. "Whilst development was a huge success at the Ravens last year and we all remain committed to that process, results on the field were disappointing."
"In order to create a winning team and be successful we must create the right environment off it. We have identified the importance of a leadership group to set high standards and develop cohesion through the squad in a need to create a group that epitomises what a Raven is."
He went on to say that the supporters and community have a big part to play and is looking for the 2013-14 season to be the start of a real Ravens family environment and praised supporters' efforts last season.
"The fans were outstanding last year and deserve success on the field, we will be looking to put policies in place that will encourage a closer relationship with supporters and commercial partners. Management and players alike are looking forward to the season ahead and being part of something special and developing "The Ravens Culture" (Family, Unity, Enjoyment, Winning Rugby, Player Development)."
With the appointment of the new Commercial / Marketing Team, there will be a number of events organised ahead of the season opener, plus confirmation of further player additions and fixture dates in due course.
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