Melbourne ready for improved year, says backman James Frawley

MELBOURNE backman James Frawley says he is enjoying pre-season a lot more than usual this summer.

Frawley, who has had seven coaches in his eight years with the Demons, said there was always lots of optimism with the introduction of a new coaching group.

But he was still feeling really refreshed so far working under Paul Roos.

“It’s always pretty hard work in the pre-season – you get smashed every year. This time there is a lot more focus on running training drills rather than just laps of the oval,” Frawley said.

“Specifically coaches are looking at areas you need to really improve as you go.

“It’s just a lot more enjoyable each time I step out to train.”

Frawley said Roos’ style worked in tandem with the Demons’ fitness team to spark the change, making it a real group effort in the pre-season turnaround.

Demons football manager Josh Mahoney and Frawley’s manager Alex McDonald confirmed to Fairfax Media last week that Frawley, a restricted free agent this year, had delayed discussions for a new contract to see how the season unfolded.

Frawley told The Courier he could hardly wait to get back into match action after a good pre-season.

The Demons launch their NAB Challenge campaign against Richmond at Etihad Stadium next Friday night.

“We have recruited some depth in our midfield this year, which will stop the ball coming down back so much,” Frawley said.

“We have got a good core group of players in the backlines. Colin Garland and myself have been around a few years so we’re probably the older, experienced ones there now.”

Fellow defender Tom McDonald and fleet-footed Dom Barry, who both, like Frawley, are North Ballarat Rebels graduates, will visit Ballarat on Sunday with the high-flying Jeremy Howe for a Ballarat Demons family day at Ballarat Turf Club (11.30am to 2pm).

Frawley encouraged all Dees’ fans to come along and have a chat with Russell Robertson to introduce players and offer a pre-season update before a clinic.

Growing up as an East Ballarat junior, Frawley said he always knew there were a few Ballarat-based

Demons’ fans – but as a player he has always been surprised and impressed by the supportive turnout on family days.