Former Glenmore Bull Tim Grentell takes on the challenge of fitness trainer with the Cougars.
Former Glenmore Bull Tim Grentell takes on the challenge of fitness trainer with the Cougars. ALLAN REINIKKA

Grentell takes on Cougars

IS that really Tim Grentell taking the training with the Webbers Retravision Capricorn Cougars?

With over 350 AFL matches for the Glenmore Bulls under his belt it was a bit of surprise to see Grentell at McLeod Park, putting the Hyundai QSL football team through its paces.

“I’ve always wanted to do fitness or personal training,” he said.

“Brad (Smith the Cougars coach) and I are good mates and he gave me a phone call.”

Moving from a game that is almost totally an Australian sport to a branch of football where there is more than one accent has provided a few communication problems.

“I ask them to tell me if I’m talking too fast,” he grinned.

Grentell did a couple of sessions with the Cougars in 2009, enjoying the challenge so when he received the invitation, he jumped at the opportunity.

“I played (AFL) up until last year,” the fit 44-year-old stated.

“I enjoy being fit.”

After so many years and so many AFL games Grentell had already decided enough was enough as he was spending the rest of the weekend, after a match, recovering.

Not that he had planned to spend the rest of his life in front of a television as his immediate objective was to play association football at the Berserker club.

So the question has to be whether he finds any major problems with his code change.

“No, there is not a lot of difference just a different shape of football,” he said.

“Most exercises adapt to soccer.”

Grentell is into his second week with the Cougars and is reasonably satisfied at the level of fitness the squad is at.

The trainer admits, however, making that assessment is not easy as there is a nucleus of players in the squad who have recently arrived from overseas and are in the process of getting used to the heat and humidity.

Currently Grentell works three nights a week with the players building their strength and increasing their agility.

Much of this work is conducted with the ball.

“Even the warm-up includes the ball,” he said.

With the first Hyundai QSL game at the end of March, Grentell is fully aware he must keep his session interesting.

“It is a long pre-season,” he mused.

At the moment he feels his task is made easier as all the 22 players in the Cougars squad are fighting for places when Smith decides to cut some of those players free.

“It is good to be with the Cougars as there are no prima donnas as they all want to be there for the season, consequently they are prepared to work hard at it,” Grentell said.

However, there are areas where he sees players must improve.

“The biggest thing is they lack core strength,” he said.

“This year we want them to be a lot tougher and a lot stronger in the context of not being pushed off the ball.”

Grentell is aware that is not just physical toughness but also metal toughness. Some of the squad struggled last year and sometimes were only competitive for 60 minutes of a match.

The influx of boys from the United Kingdom has changed the character of the side and is forcing some of the local lads out of their comfort zone.

While Grentell’s current plans are to get the squad prepared for the start of the season, he does not rule out remaining with the Cougars throughout their campaign.

“They are a really good mix and I’m surprised how much I enjoy it,” he concluded.

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