For Rabbitohs Head Coach, Michael Maguire and his men, team bonding is an essential part of any pre-season schedule, which is why the team this week headed north to Coffs Harbour for a chance to do just that.
After almost two months of preparing for the new season, a change of scenery is just what was needed for the men in red and green, who have now become accustomed to the familiar surrounds of Redfern Oval.
The three-day trek north has provided much in the way of solidifying the new-look outfit according to Madge, in a similar way to away trips during the year operate.
“We get a few opportunities during the season to go away all together, but doing it in the pre-season allows the boys to really get to know each other,” said Maguire.
“Our trips to Perth, Cairns, New Zealand, Brisbane, Melbourne – they’re all times that we enjoy having as a group because we learn a lot about each other.
“To do it during the pre-season in a relaxed setting, where we can really focus on the little things – it’s prime opportunity to really bond.
“We’ve seen plenty of red and green on our way up as well, so we’ve felt right at home.”
Add into the mix the return of players such as Sam and Thomas Burgess, fresh from their respective breaks, and the Rabbitohs are now a complete squad.
“We’ve welcomed a number of faces into the team now,” said Maguire.
“Obviously we’ve had a few new faces joining the team, and now with Sammy and Tommy coming back as well, we’re now altogether.”
Team building is one of five things that the mentor outlined to Rabbitohs.com.au at the beginning of 2016 pre-season training in November.
“It’s certainly a chance for everyone to connect or re-connect with their brothers in the team,” said Maguire.
“I think there’s a lot of enjoyment that you can get out of going through a pre-season – whether it’s finding out about each other, enduring and excelling in the hard work that’s required both physically and mentally, or pushing your teammates to help them to realise their potential.
“At the end of the day, that’s what it’s all about.”