Port devote month not to go to 'Dogs - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Port devote month not to go to 'Dogs

By Daniel Brettig 09/06/2009 11:41:46 AM Comments (0)

It's the one week at a time that's been a month in the making.

Port Adelaide have spent the past four weeks preparing for their AFL date with the Western Bulldogs in steamy Darwin by undertaking half-hour bike sessions inside a heat and humidity chamber at the University of South Australia's City East campus.

The idea was brought to the Power by ex-Bulldogs fitness coach Cameron Falloon, who had prepared the Melbourne club for previous Darwin visits with exactly the same gambit.

By sending the players in for the sessions over the course of a month, Falloon has attempted to provide them with some kind of tropical fitness base, while also facilitating some uncustomary long distance mental preparation for a game that is vital to Port's chances of pushing on towards the finals after the mid-year break.

"It would have been (in the backs of our minds for a while) yeah, we've been coming here for four weeks and we all know it's about the Western Bulldogs game," said Power captain Domenic Cassisi.

"So preparation-wise a lot more has gone into it than your normal game and that's why we're looking forward to this weekend and how it rolls out come game day.

"We've had probably six sessions in here all-up, there's no point just coming in this week and doing two sessions, so that's why we've been building up over the last month or so.

"We're on the bikes in there for a good half hour, it's quite a solid session we do and all about acclimatising to the heat and humidity."

Port's physical preparation has been finely tuned for the fixture, but they will need to match that with technical and tactical sharpness if they are to keep pace with the `Dogs.

Skill errors blotted parts of the Power's gritty win over Fremantle, and Cassisi said the club leadership was trying to find a balance between punishing mistakes and encouraging creativity.

"That's the area we keep looking at and continue to work on, we do a lot of work on our kicking and foot skills," he said.

"The Western Bulldogs, everyone knows they're a high-skilled team so it's going to be important for us to try to maintain possession of the football.

"We try to have penalties set up so if you do miss targets then you do a certain amount of push-ups and we're really trying to push as a playing group that making skill errors isn't good enough.

"But at the same time you don't want to make people jumpy about not taking a risky kick because that can be the difference between getting it down to our forward line and scoring a goal."

Port are expected to get some relief from a high-profile injury list by recalling Daniel Motlop this week.

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