Snapshot: In November the Lions sent 18 players – emerging midfielders Jack Redden and Tom Rockliff, and recruit Brent Moloney among them – to the United States for a two-week high-altitude training camp based largely at Northern Arizona University. It was the second successive year that the Lions had sent some players overseas, although only five members of the club's squad went to the US in 2011. Redden and Moloney were among the standout performers at this year's camp. In recent weeks all players on the Lions' list have been back training together, with their main focus on building their endurance as they attempt to push for a berth in the finals in 2013.
Break: The Lions enjoyed a two-week break over Christmas, before returning to training on Monday 7 January.
Draftee watch: The draftees were part of a group of 1-4 year players that were taken to the Enoggera Army Barracks in northern Brisbane for a tough three-day program. The training camp was designed to test the players both physically and mentally, and help strengthen the bond within the team.
Burning: According to senior coach Michael Voss, emerging midfielder Claye Beams had only a "so-so" pre-season in the lead-up to the club's 2012 campaign, but he has been one of the most impressive performers on the track in recent weeks. "I thought Daniel Rich had an outstanding pre-season last year and really stood head and shoulders above a lot of players," Voss added. "He's still training at the same intensity but more are actually joining him at that standard."
Medical room: Simon Black, who also went to Arizona, recently underwent surgery after suffering knee soreness. The 33-year-old should be back in full training by the end of January.
What they say: "The boys have come back in really good shape. I think it's the best we've ever prepared ourselves for a pre-season, and we're heading in the right direction. So hopefully we can finish the pre-season really strong and then play some good NAB Cup games." –Midfielder Tom Rockliff.
NAB Cup schedule:
Round 1: v Gold Coast and Hawthorn, Metricon Stadium, Saturday, February 23
Round 2: v GWS, Wagga, Saturday, March 2
Round 3: v Collingwood, Etihad Stadium, Saturday, March 9