Sydney Swans co-captain Adam Goodes is eyeing a round one return following a lengthy injury layoff this pre-season.
The 33-year-old, who suffered a partial posterior cruciate ligament tear to his left knee in the Swans’ Grand Final win last year, took part in his first skills training session for the pre-season during this week’s camp in Coffs Harbour.
The dual Brownlow medallist completed 20 minutes of skills at BCU International Stadium on Wednesday, and will train with the main group for the same length of time on Friday morning.
Speaking to SwansTV from Coffs Harbour, Goodes said his injured knee had recovered well over the extended summer break.
“(The knee) feels great. I think the best thing that has happened out of all of it is that I’d gone through the same process with my other knee,” he said.
“We’ve taken a really cautious approach this time because we did have that extra time and now I feel like I’m really coming good at the right time of the year and there is no doubt I’ll be ready for round one.”
Following on from this week’s first skills sessions, Goodes said his training workload would continue to steadily increase in preparation for the season opener.
“I think the next process is to do 35 minutes on Monday when the other boys are on a week-long break and then I’m off to Alice Springs on the Indigenous Camp and I get to train 45 minutes up there with the brothers so that will be good,” he said.
“Monday week will then hopefully be an hour with the rest of the group and that will be the NAB Cup week, and I obviously won’t play that week, but I’ll get some good training sessions in then.
“I’ll try and fit in a couple of NAB Cup games before round one and make sure I’m really feeling good and get some confidence going.”
Goodes said this week’s four-day Coffs Harbour training camp, which included sessions at both BCU International Stadium and the Pacific Bay Resort’s Elite Training Facility, has been beneficial for both him and his team mates.
He added that time away was just what the team needed to brush up on their skills and game plan knowledge.
“I’m enjoying the conditions; it’s really hot up here, and it’s great to get away as a group because we don’t get to do it very often,” he said.
“It’s the perfect time, just before games, to skill everyone up about the game plan and for me personally to do my first skills session, which was a real positive going forward.
“It’s just good that everyone is up and going and everyone is fit, and from the team meetings we’re having everyone seems to be sticking to the game plan and helping the younger guys learn their craft as well.”
Despite only spending limited time on field, Goodes said fellow Swans co-captain Jarrad McVeigh and new forward recruit Kurt Tippett had been the standout performers on the track at the Coffs Harbour camp.
“Just from looking at them up here in Coffs and watching the boys train, Macca seems to be running around quite well on top of the ground and it’s been nice to see Kurt Tippett take some marks up forward,” he said.