HEAD conditioner Mark Andrews can’t wait to get his hands back on the Giants!
The popular Australian – affectionately known as ‘Bumper’ throughout the game – worked wonders knocking coach Nathan Brown’s squad into outstanding shape for Super League XIV.
But the former St George Dragons assistant conditioner knows he’s still got a lot of hard work ahead to ensure the Giants reach their full potential on the injury front – although he doesn’t see that as being a problem at all.
“Working with the boys last season was absolutely fantastic, and I’m already excited about doing it again,” said Andrews, who arrived with Brown from the Dragons 11 months ago.
“I think what was one of the most pleasing aspects about it was seeing the way the players’ levels of fitness improved.
“It’s obviously good to be getting some of the credit for making that happen, but it was only possible because of the effort the players themselves were prepared to put in.
“The thing that impressed me most about this group from day one was their attitude to the work they were told to do. They just got on with it there and then, whatever that task might have been.
“There are just no airs and graces about them at all.
“And, on top of that, there are some really good athletes at the club.
“Shaun Lunt and Keith Mason are the first to spring to mind, because they’re very good at what they do.
“But everyone in the squad has a very good level of fitness now, and the task over the next few months will be to bring even more out of them, which I’m sure we will.”
But even though Andrews is looking forward to seeing an improvement in the players’ fitness, he still believes they’re in excellent shape in comparison to their Super League rivals.
“It’s hard to say whether we’re the fittest side in Super League, but I’d definitely like to think we’re right up there,” added the former Wests Tigers reserve grade hooker.
“I don’t think we’d have had the best defence in Super League, the third best attack and finished the regular season third if we didn’t have a good level of fitness.
“But you always know there’s room for improvement in everything you do and I’m looking forward to making sure that improvement continues on the conditioning front.”