Richmond VFL ramped up its 2024 pre-season over the weekend with its annual camp. Here's what they got up to...

Day one

Day one of the VFL pre-season camp began bright and early, with the squad travelling towards the Mornington Peninsula for a 6:45am start at the Don Bosco Camp in Dromana.

For Mutaz El Nour, he hit the road at 5:00am and was looking forward to what the camp had in store this year.

After exchanging early-morning greetings and other formalities, the team followed head coach Steve Morris down to Safety Beach for the first session of the camp.

Morris’ first order of business was to divide the squad into five separate teams - each team being distinguished by a different coloured headband. With a competitive twist added to the session, the tone for the camp was set early on.

Each team was eager to claim bragging rights.

The five teams competed in an intense 5km run along Safety Beach, followed by a collective 500-pushup effort on the pier and a swimming circuit.

Following training, the squad dispersed throughout the town and bonded over some breakfast.

Upon returning to camp, each team reconvened in their respective team colours and was assigned the challenge of finding a lookout and producing a group photo there – a task intended to build connection within the team.

Then at midday, it was time for lunch and game plan education - a chance for the team to hear from their coaches at length. Every squad member then had the chance to submit their votes for the 2024 leadership group.

Under the blazing sun, the team enjoyed some free time. From three-on-three ‘pickup’ basketball to a game of cricket, the group were bonding nicely.

Once free time was over, the team refuelled at dinner together, then engaged in a ‘Streeta Surprise’, a trivia night created by skipper Lachlan Street. With each incorrect trivia answer, teams were required up on stage to perform in a act, song, dance or standup comedy set. 

Unsurprisingly, there were many laughs shared, as some members of the team danced in front of the rest of the group.

The team then got a big sleep in preparation for day two!

Day two

‘Pound the rock’— the motto that Morris repeated to the team throughout the camp.

It’s a motto set out to exemplify the ideal characteristics and qualities of every person within the team as persisting to overcome challenges and refusing to give up. Throughout the camp, Morris emphasised that no matter how firm or solid the ‘rock’ is, eventually, it will crack with endurance and hard work.

This motto was evident in the beach activity on day two.

An early wake up caught the team off-guard, as they headed to Safety Beach collectively and for an intense grappling session, and other ‘boot-camp’ style exercises on the sand.

The team got wet, hit the pads, and worked tirelessly, all in the name of ‘pounding the rock.’

A big breakfast awaited them back at camp, a reward for their fantastic efforts.

By 11:30am the camp was wrapped up, with two days in Dromana marking a successful pre-season camp for the VFL squad!