Phil Moss explains Mariners pre-season

AS Graham Arnold's assistant, Phil Moss plays an integral role in the Central Coast Mariners pre-season preparations.

Phil Moss

AS Graham Arnold's assistant, Phil Moss plays an integral role in the Central Coast Mariners pre-season preparations. Speaking with Jess Norton, 'Mossy' provides Mariners fans with an unique insight into how the team is planning for the 2012/13 Hyundai A-League season, starting with a much anticipated tie against Western Sydney Wanderers on October 6.

The Mariners are currently in the first phase of pre-season known as pre-hab. What is it all about? What are the benefits of it?

Pre-hab is basically about injury prevention so it-s getting the players- legs strong so they can cope with the riggers of football pre-season when we get the balls, out so twisting and turning and power of the mark and things like that won-t be foreign to them. The whole idea of it is to make sure that we have as little injury setbacks as possible during pre-season.

When does the team-s actual ‘football- pre-season start?

It starts next week. We-ve had four weeks of pre-hab and injury prevention and then we have a couple of days of testing early next week on Monday and Tuesday. Then we-ll get the balls out on Wednesday and that-s when we start to get into the nitty-gritty of football pre-season.

Training will obviously be ramped up from Wednesday onwards. What types of training will the players be doing to ensure they are ready for the season?

There are lots of things. The football pre-season can be broken up into a lot of different areas but the bigger picture is tactical, making sure they-re tactically aware of their jobs for the start of the season on October 6 against Western Sydney. Small-sided games are a large part of it, making decisions under pressure in game situations. In the small-sided games, they have to make quick decisions and good decisions, shooting, crossing, set pieces, all of that becomes a big part of the football pre-season to have them ready to go on October 6.

Andrew Nealon joins the Yellow and Navy as a new physio after his time with Liverpool FC and in English County Cricket. What does he bring to the Club?

A lot of experience and a lot of knowledge but more importantly for us, we-ve got a full-time physio here now, the whole time. Hills Street Physio with Peter Buffon and Denny Shearwood did a fantastic job, they-re great guys and it-s sad to see them go, but moving forward, the club and our sense of professionalism, we are very happy to have a full-time physio who-s on site the whole day. Andrew has fit in very well and very quickly, he-s very professional about what he does and he is a big addition to our staff this year.

According to Professional Footballers Australia the Mariners had the best injury record in the Hyundai A-League last season. What measures have been put in place to ensure it remains the same for the upcoming campaign?

Andrew Nealon is a big part of that with having a full-time physio on site, but Andrew Clark deserves a lot of credit with the way he has set up the medical department and the way he sets up his pre-hab program to make sure the injury prevention is the first thing that we do when players come back from their holiday. I think there-s a combination of things, the man who pulls that all together is Andrew Clark, with the physical side of the training sessions that he does, the injury prevention and the staff that he has around him and the physio and Dr Jonathan King, so I think a combination of all of that.

Finally, how are the players progressing physically at the moment?

Fantastic. We put them through a gruelling physical session yesterday and they all came through with flying colours so we-re very, very happy where we are at physically at the moment. We-ll learn more again next Monday and Tuesday when we put them through testing and you know our football pre-season and the loads and intensity of the sessions will be structured based on those results. We-ll know a lot more by the middle of next week but so far the indicators have been very positive.