WHILE you’re slugging away at your desk at what is probably your first day back at work, take solace knowing you’re not completing a gruelling time trial.
It was back to school for a host of AFL clubs on Monday.
Here are some of the best bits.
THE RUNNING MEN
New year, same clinical 2km time trial for Sam Gibson.
The former Roo continues to prove that age is no barrier when it comes to leaving his teammates in his wake. In fact, that’s two from two time trial wins for the 31-year-old since joining Adelaide during the trade period.
Meanwhile, at Melbourne it was Tom Bugg who took out the honours as the club’s fastest player across 2km.
The Demon has some ground to make up — at least, in the metaphorical sense — after he was suspended for six weeks for a crude hit on Sydney youngster Callum Mills.
Bugg’s performance will certainly help his case for redemption.
At the Giants, it was another win for Tom Scully, who arguably has bragging rights as the fittest player in the AFL.
The win for Scully comes off the back of an incredible victory in the club’s annual McConnell Cup, where he had a one minute and 50 second handicap behind the first starters.
Adam Tomlinson, Lachie Whitfield and Tim Taranto rounded out the top-five finishers in Monday’s time trial.
While Shaun and Mitch Marsh appear to have finally won over the Australian public, the Magpies believe they may have the best set of sporting brothers in the country.
Tyler Brown was drafted to the club at the end of last year, joining his older brother Callum who was selected the year prior. Both are sons of club legend Gavin Brown.
Collingwood may have gone with the early crow, but then again the Brown brothers have plenty of time to add some runs to the board.
Emerging Fremantle defender Alex Pearce has anchored himself at the Dockers until at least the end of 2020, after signing a two-year contract extension.
The 22-year-old has had a horrific run with injuries and hasn’t played a game since May, 2016. But Pearce is confident his body is ready to go for the season ahead.
“There’s no reason for me not to extend,” Pearce said.
“I’m really enjoying being around the club at the moment and I have a lot I want to achieve personally and with the club as well.”
SECOND CHANCE SALOON FOR FORMER DEMON
Jack Trengove has revealed how agonisingly close he came to giving up on his AFL career.
The former Demons co-captain, who has been dogged by foot injuries, was thrown a lifeline by Port Adelaide coach Ken Hinkley, just as he was considering his next move.
“I was probably at that point, I was thinking what am I going to do for some money next year and where am I going to play footy,” Trengove said.
“Then an opportunity came and I jumped at it.
“I was certainly sitting on my couch thinking I just want one more chance to prove myself, in a fresh environment, fresh set of eyes, new teammates, new surroundings.
“I don’t think I could’ve fit in any better at the moment.”
FORGOTTEN SAINT FIGHTING FIT FOR 2018
He may have missed the entire 2017 season after rupturing his achilles in 2016 and then enduring another battle with turf toe.
But St Kilda defender Hugh Goddard is finally ready to add to his tally of nine AFL games.
Goddard, who like a number of teammates has shed weight over the summer, believes he’s on track to earn his spot back in the Saints’ best 22.
“After all injuries you don’t always come back 100 per cent, but I feel like I’m pretty confident with the speed I’ve got and the endurance, but that’s always something I can improve,” Goddard said.
“Speed is definitely something I want to continue to improve, so I think that’s been helped by losing a couple of kilos.”
CONTRACT TALK … ALREADY
We’re barely a week into 2018 and already contract talks have surfaced.
Poor Elliot Yeo was left grasping at straws when asked about the future of his two teammates, Jerermy McGovern and Andrew Gaff, whose contracts expire at the end of 2018.
“I can’t really see them leaving,” Yeo said.
“But their contracts are their business.”
It’s going to be a long year.