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4:24pm  Nov 13, 2017

Mathieson back in fine form

Josie Fielding  November 10, 2017 4:31 PM

Mathieson in best shape yet Rhys Mathieson attributes his pre-season form to Nick Robertson pushing him over the off-season.

Brisbane Lions midfielder Rhys Mathieson says he’s returned to training in his best shape yet and has fellow teammate Nick Robertson to thank.

Mathieson did not return home to Victoria in his off season, instead choosing to remain Queensland.

“Most of my off season I spent up in Brisbane. I didn’t go home. I was running with one of the Club’s best runners, Nick Robbo [Robertson]. I was trying to sit on the back of him all off season.” Mathieson told lions.com.au.

Robertson, a regular 3km time trial winner at the Club, pushed Mathieson to his limits and it’s paid off. The 20-year old’s running has improved but he has also bulked up.

“This is definitely the best I’ve been moving,” Mathieson said.

“Probably at my heaviest weight but been running my best. That’s probably thanks to Nick Robbo in the off season for getting me up and just trying to hold on to him.”

Mathieson is not the only 1-4-year player who has impressed coaching staff and fellow players with their off-season conditioning.

“This time last year we were nowhere near this level. So I think it’s a really good start for the group and especially a young group, to come back in that type of shape is fantastic,” Mathieson said.

Pre-season kicked off on Monday and Mathieson admits it’s been brutal.

“That Monday session is probably one of the hardest because all the boys are back together and you actually run at a harder pace. It does get pretty competitive and it does hurt you a bit more,” Mathieson said.

“It’s good to have the week over. Definitely tough.”

New recruit Charlie Cameron surprised the group by participating in training at Yeronga this morning. He’s not due to start with the Lions until later this month.

“I think he went really well. He still has another two weeks off so for him to show his face down here and get started nice and early is a good sign for the group.”

Mathieson is also looking forward to another new arrival, who like him, played his junior footy at the Geelong Falcons.

“Well we’ve got Luke Hodge in now so to have him around the Club and his experience will be great.”

With Hodge and Cameron on board, Mathieson believes the Club is heading in the right direction.

“Each year we’re getting closer and closer. Hopefully we can put a few more wins on the ladder.”

Front of mind for Mathieson is selection for the Lions in Round 1’s clash against St Kilda.

“I’d love to start off playing Round 1. Obviously, I’ve missed the first two years’ [first] six weeks because of injuries…but obviously nothing is promised, it’s a competitive sport.”

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