Swans defender Marty Mattner is one of the longest standing members of the Swans rehab group this pre-season, but things are now starting to look up.
After weeks limited to training indoors in the Swans gym due to a hip injury sustained late last season, Mattner is now out running on the track, and is this week enjoying the lush surrounds of Coffs Harbour on the Swans four-day training camp.
Speaking to SwansTV following today’s first training session at BCU International Stadium, Mattner said he is striving to join the main training group within the next few weeks.
“(My preparation) has been bit slower than the rest of the team, so I’m just easing back into it,” Mattner said.
“I started on the bike and in the pool and I’ve been running for the last month now since Christmas, so it’s been quite good to run around and I just can’t wait to get back to training and actually starting to kick some footys around.
“I think I’ve got a couple weeks more of running to build up my fitness and then hopefully I might be able to start some skills in two weeks’ time, just 20 or 30 minutes with the boys, which will be great to do.”
The defender hasn’t been alone in his quest to make the transition from the rehab group to the main training squad, with fellow premiership players Adam Goodes and Nick Smith working alongside him.
While he admits training outside the main group can be frustrating, Mattner said he believes the experience will only made him a stronger player.
“It can be frustrating at times but we’ve got a good group. There are about four or five of us who have been together for the while trip including Nick Smith and Adam Goodes,” he said.
“The three of us have been together for the whole trip and we’ve had a few guys join in and come around with us.
“It’s a good experience because you’ve got to be mentally a bit stronger because you’re by yourself sometimes down in the dungeon (Swans fitness centre) training hard.
“It’s hard work and you do the hard yards but it’s a great reward once you’re back training with the boys.”
Despite not taking part in today’s scratch match, Mattner said he is working extremely hard on the sidelines and in the gym with the aim of re-joining the full squad in February ahead of the NAB Cup.
Mattner said that getting a game in next month’s pre-season competition was one of his goals looking forward.
“I got some good distances in my runs this morning so I’m really happy,” he said.
“I’m working really hard trying to get fit and to make sure I’m up to speed for when I get back out on the track,” he said.
“I will then gradually build up the skills and the actual football side of things and hopefully I might get a NAB Cup game.”
In the short term, Mattner said he is looking forward to a short break next week with his wife Chelsea and newborn son Oscar.
“Chelsea and Oscar are actually in Adelaide and have been there for a couple of weeks,” he said.
“We’re got a couple of days off next week so I’ll head over there and catch up with them.”