Adelaide’s AFLW players have two main focuses for the weekend according to Senior Coach Matthew Clarke - to build connection and have fun.
Due to Covid-19 and travel restrictions, the players and coaching staff are staying close to home for their team getaway ahead of the 2022 season, which kicks off in January.
On Friday afternoon, the players gave back to the community by hosting a coaching clinic with juniors at South Adelaide Football Club.
“We’ve trained really hard for about five to six weeks,” Clarke told AFC Media.
“We think it’s really important that we make sure we keep providing opportunities for the players to connect and to spend time together outside of a pure training environment.
“It’s just a well-timed moment for us to get away and have a bit of fun.
“We are going to be down in the southern region, we were heading down that way, so we just saw it as an opportunity to connect with that community.
“We’ve opened the junior coaching clinic up to anyone down south and it’s driven by our community team and (defender) Sarah Allan who has put a lot of work into it.”
The group will then head to Normanville on Friday night, where they’ll take part in a number of activities - including a cooking competition.
As part of the team getaway, players will also partake in surfing lessons on the south coast on Saturday.
Clarke, who is entering his third season at the helm of Adelaide’s AFLW side, expects the weekend to grow important bonds between players new and old.
“A lot of the players have enormously strong connections because they’ve played together over a number of years,” Clarke said.
“We’ve got five new players in this season, one of them is returning, so it’s probably really important for those players in particular.
“But also for those who have been together for a long time - life’s busy - so if we can take half a day and spend some time together, that’s really valuable.
“When I came in I recognised it (culture and connection) as one of the absolute strengths of the group and I was really determined to make sure we didn’t take that for granted.”
Clarke said players were tracking well with their training loads, with the senior coach keen to add more game-focused drills into the next few sessions.
“I am really happy with how they’re going,” Clarke said.
“The level of skill execution has also been at the level we want it to be.
“The next phase for us now is to try to introduce some more game-like scenarios and make sure a lot of the concepts we are working on are able to translate under pressure.
“We want to try and play attacking and fast and defend the ball strong and we want to be good in the contest.”