CQFC Energy coach has two goals of his own for next year
WHILE his players are scoring goals on the pitch, CQFC Energy coach Ray Wood has two of his own goals in mind.
The first is what every National Premier League coach aspires - to lead his team to the 2014 championship.
The second is to create the fittest team in the competition.
The CQFC Energy coach believes a high level of one leads to the other and has made fitness his major focus during the 2014 National Premier League pre-season.
Wood, who replaced former coach Joe Fenech late in the 2013 season, said his squad had been working hard since the end of September, and would continue their focus on fitness right up to the start of season in March next year.
"Fitness is the big thing for me. I mean, you can have the best players in the world, but if they're not fit, they're not going to last 94-95 minutes on the park, which is what they need to last," he said.
"That was the big thing that stuck out to me last year, the fitness levels.
"If we can get our boys to be the fittest team next season there's a good chance we'll go on and win it next year."
Starting pre-season much earlier than their rivals, Wood said the work had to be done on the paddock before the club would see results on the pitch.
"It's simple, I want us to be the fittest team and the best team in the competition," he said.
"My aspirations and my goals are ... we set ourselves for the highest target, and if we don't get there then we need to have a look at why we didn't get there and talk about it as a group and work on it for the following season."
The Energy had their first pre-season friendly last night against 2013 Premier League champions Frenchville, and with 11 to come, Wood is confident his troops will be up to speed when the season opens.
Originally from the UK, Wood said the pre-season conditions were actually very similar to those that he had worked under in previous coaching roles in the northern hemisphere.
"I'm used to taking the boys through their paces in the heat, but not at this extreme," he said.
"The good thing is they're training of a night, it goes down to the mid-20s, so it's probably similar.