RUGBY LEAGUE: A new-look Sunshine Coast Falcons roster will be "beaten up” by a torrid pre-season of running and more running, according to coach Craig Ingebrigtsen.
The state league club is desperate to ensure its third placing last season was not a flash in the pan so is doing everything it can to get its players in top order for 2017.
That means miles of pounding the sand, stairs and hills of the region, in unrelenting heat.
"We're going to have a very fit side and a very resilient group,” Ingebrigtsen said.
"They're going to have to work really hard for the next six weeks up to Christmas and are going to get beaten up a fair bit.
"We're looking to see what response we get out of them and we're also looking to make sure we've got a group that can be fatigued to play attacking footy, that's what we're after.”
The club's not wasting any time either, with a tough first session on Monday night at Bokarina.
"They're going to get sick of running,” the coach said.
Last pre-season, the Falcons were fit, largely due to a lot of small runs on the flat in the pre-season.
This time around, they're going to be put through the wringer with lengthy, undulating sessions.
"Last year we were a little bit cautious about what we tossed up to them but this year...we're going to get the kilometres into them a lot quicker,” he said.
The Falcons are intent on delivering another strong season after surprising many pundits last time, when the side went from perennial battler to genuine title contender.
"So now, instead of being a side that can go under the radar, we're a side that will be taken seriously.
"Teams will be chasing us. They want to have a crack at us...we've got to be ready for that.”
Ingebrigtsen said the club had been able to be more selective in its recruiting.
It's picked up the likes of ex-Bulldogs under-20s ballplayer Guy Hamilton and ex-Sharks under-20s player-of-the-year Harrison Muller.
"In the past, the Falcons have been happy to allow people to come to the club whereas (this time) we've knocked back players and been strategic about what we've gone after,” he said.
Ingebrigtsen said Troy Giess was set to be the captain of the side again.
Meanwhile, in what should be a shock to the system for the younger players at the club, the Falcons' under-20 and under-18 sides will train with the state league players.
Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.