Shaw doing hard yards

April 24, 2020 3:30 pm in by
North Melbourne coach Rhyce Shaw. (Sports Media Image/Marcel Berens)

RHYCE Shaw is going the extra mile to help guide his players through the AFL season shutdown with the North Melbourne coach completing the same fitness program as some of his charges.

Shaw, who played the last of his 237 career AFL games in 2015, believes the move helps him better understand the pressures his players are under as they prepare for the season restart in isolation.

“I’m always thinking about the players’ mindset and putting myself in their shoes because it’s so important that we understand our athletes as best we can,” Shaw told the club’s website on Friday.

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“The one thing I’ve been lucky enough to do is I’ve got one of the boys’ programs from our strength-and-conditioning coach and I’ve been doing it every day.

“So I kind of get a feel for what the boys are going through.

“I’m a bit of a different cat, I love that stuff anyway, but it’s good to get a sense for what they’re doing and how they’re going.

“It has been a bit taxing, especially last week was a fairly big one for the boys, but it’s good to see that the guys are still up and about.”

Shaw has no inside information on when the season will get back underway, but his players have increased training loads recently in anticipation of an announcement.

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The AFL had been hoping to release a return-to-play plan on Monday, April 27, but it is believed that announcement has been pushed back at least a week as the league seeks approval from relevant authorities.

“I think the AFL are doing a fantastic job in that regard, they’re taking their time and not making any rash decisions,” Shaw said.

“I think they’ll play it as they see it and when we do come back we’ll be back for good.”

(C) AAP 2020