Pre-season started this week for the Murray Bushrangers with players training in new surroundings at The Scots School.
The Albury venue will serve as the Bushies' northern hub, while Victoria-based players will train at Wangaratta or Shepparton.
Bushies coach Mark Brown was full of praise for the facilities at Scots and is pleased to have been able to localise training for players across the region.
"Our Albury hub will do all of its pre-season there, certainly up to Christmas, and then a large proportion post-Christmas," Brown said.
"David Smith, who heads up sport there, has been phenomenal and the staff have been absolutely welcoming.
"There's plenty of ground space, a good gym, indoor area, educational facility and a pool so it ticks all the boxes and allows us to give the boys a really good look at an elite program and a taste of what could potentially wait for a select few who go on to play AFL footy."
Last year, the whole squad trained at Wangaratta which meant a round-trip of more than four hours for some players.
"You don't become a better footballer sitting in the car and unfortunately that's what we forced the kids to do," Brown said.
"It's no-one's fault, it's just circumstances but we decided to do as much as we could to make it as easy as possible for not just the kids but their parents, our coaches and support staff.
"It was really important for us to have a facility in NSW because that gave us the flexibility so that if, for instance, our kids can't cross the border, we can send them to Scots and they can train.
ALSO IN SPORT
"At this stage, it's about them establishing elite training habits.
"Development is not linear, it often ebbs and flows, but the ones who track well consistently do it off the back of elite habits and that's not just training, it's around their diet, recovery, strength and conditioning.
"It's their career so it's their responsibility.
"We're here to help as much as we can but ultimately, they drive their careers and the response so far has been really positive."
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