RICHMOND forward Aaron Edwards has backed the AFL’s revamped pre-season competition.
Edwards gave his tick of approval to the new-look NAB Challenge ahead of the Tigers’ trip to Wangaratta, saying the format gave players a better chance to prepare for the season proper.
Full-length quarters and interchange caps are among the features, with all approved rule changes for the season also in effect.
“Personally, I think that’s a really good thing — playing the full 30 instead of the shortened version,” Edwards said ahead of tomorrow’s clash with Collingwood.
“There’s only a few subtle rule changes but it gets you ready I guess quicker and in less amount of games for the season proper.
“I don’t mind the new format.”
In a major overhaul of the pre-season, 18 games have been scheduled around Australia over 18 consecutive days.
Edwards said the Tigers weren’t fazed about having to travel to Wangaratta to play the Pies.
“We don’t mind going anywhere, we’re playing footy, so it’s an exciting time of the year,” he said.
“We’ve got full confidence in our fitness and what we’ve done in the pre-season and we don’t have many injuries.
“We’re sitting nice.
“We’ve got three dress rehearsals for the season — one is gone — but we’ve got two to go and then we’re playing for premiership points.
“This is just another chance to have another crack at putting everything together that we want to put in place for the season coming up.”
Edwards, who is one of the AFL’s most accurate kicks for goal, said he had been working on improving his fitness.
“I’m trying build myself up to have more of a tank so I can play a few different roles this year, instead of just a key forward,” he said.
“I want to try and move up the field and play a little bit at half-forward as well and be more versatile.
“I’m feeling good, the body is good, and I’m feeling fit so hopefully I can hold down a spot in the forward line.
“We’ve got a pretty solid forward line in a really good team that’s got a lot of experience now.”
The Tigers will arrive in the North East today.