NICK Coughlan and Jeremy Finlayson knew it would be tough.
But the promising Border footballers still weren’t prepared for the gruelling training regime which has greeted them at Greater Western Sydney this week.
The academy members have shadowed the senior players on the track and been put through running, skill work, match simulated practice, weights, recovery, physio and pilates sessions.
“The intensity is probably the biggest thing I have noticed,” Coughlan said.
“I thought it would be hard, but it’s been pretty hard.
“I haven’t done anything like this before.
“I’m pretty buggered after training.”
Finlayson, of Culcairn, has been mentored this week by another country player in rising Dartmoor star and leading Giants’ goalkicker Jeremy Cameron.
“He’s been good,” Finlayson said.
“He’s from the country as well and I have learnt a fair bit off him already.”
Coughlan was hampered by injuries last year and missed football for The Scots School and Albury, while Finlayson is based in Sydney and plays for Sydney Hills.
GWS senior assistant-coach Alan McConnell said Coughlan and Finlayson had handled the increase in workload well.
“It’s been a pretty exciting week for the academy boys,” McConnell said.
“They have found it pretty tough as you would expect but their attitude has been exceptional.
“There is a big gap from where they are now to where they aspire to be but they’re on the right track.
“It’s a bit of a shock to the system when you come from an eight to 10-hour training load each week and then get thrown into a 40-hour comprehensive workload.”