Newspaper article Sunshine Coast Daily (Maroochydore, Australia)

Disgruntled Lion Finds the Power

Newspaper article Sunshine Coast Daily (Maroochydore, Australia)

Disgruntled Lion Finds the Power

Article excerpt

Byline: terry mallinder APN SPORTS BUREAU

GAME DAY

POWER V HAWKS

Adelaide Oval, 7.40pm (AEST)

Giants v Tigers, 1.40pm;

Magpies v Eagles, 4.40pm.

JARED Polec might have wanted to return home to Adelaide to resurrect his playing career, but it would be in Dubai where his transformation into an elite player finally took place.

After being traded from Brisbane, where he had spent a tumultuous three years, the 21-year-old had failed to impress his new club, Port Adelaide, during the early stages of pre-season training last November.

The Power had built a reputation of having the fittest playing group in the league during its resurgence last season and any new recruit was quickly going to be brought up to speed.

"Coming into the pre-season and seeing how hard they worked, I'd never seen anything like it, to be honest," he told APN this week.

"The first session was a massive eye-opener for me with a 3km time trial ... I didn't perform that well, being struck down with sickness."

Polec had finished mid-pack in the parklands of North Adelaide, well behind players such as veteran Kane Cornes, 10 years his senior, and though he was suffering from tonsillitis, he was pulled aside by coach Ken Hinkley and told to do more.

The heat would really come, however, when the Power ventured to the UAE for an intensive pre-Christmas training camp under the watchful eye of Port fitness coach Darren Burgess.

"Those nine days in Dubai, literally training every day, that was the hardest thing I've ever done," Polec said. "(But) I think that was a major factor in turning my career around."

Coming away fitter and stronger Polec did not look back and appeared to fit seamlessly into the free-flowing Power outfit in a round-one win over Carlton, with his eye-catching run and carry on the wing. …

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