Port Adelaide Power to train in Dubai
Thursday, October 17 2013 @ 10:43 PM CST
Contributed by: Wesley Hull
The trip will take the club to Dubai, where they will use the excellent facilities at the Dubai Sports Centre, which are considered to be amongst the best in the Middle East.
According to the Port Adelaide High Performance Manager, Darren Burgess, on the club website “the facilities at the Dubai Sports City are world class, so it’s a really good combination of a top line performance centre and hot conditions, plus a great chance for the boys to get away again.
“Last year taking the boys to London was a really good launch to the season so this time we were looking for something a little different and I’m a fan of high temperature training.
“For any given session, it’s a lot harder in the heat and there’s good research emerging showing heat training is just as good, if not better, than altitude.”
Senior players will return early from their breaks to ensure the whole team group travels together. Players have also partially funded this trip to ensure it goes ahead.
The club is looking at this strategy to combat the fatigue factors anticipated by the changes to rotations in 2014. It is envisaged that the playing group will return fitter, faster and with greater endurance.
This will no doubt be a great marketing opportunity for AFL Middle East, most particularly the two Dubai based teams: the Dubai Dragons and the Dubai Dingoes. The Abu Dhabi Falcons, also in the United Arab Emirates, will also have the opportunities to link with whatever programs, events or promotions develop, as well as the two more distant teams, the Doha Kangaroos and the Muscat Magpies.
It would be hoped that the visit of the Port Adelaide Power can have a direct impact on the image of the and people’s awareness of the game throughout the Middle East, ultimately filtering down to the excited kids who are already part of local Auskick programs.
This idea is not totally new, as the Carlton Football Club visited Qatar and the United Arab Emirates in November 2011 to experience similar training options and in the process becoming heavily involved in the promotion of Australian Rules football through localised Auskick programs as well as a variety of media and cultural events.
In 2008 a crowd of over 6000 people watched Collingwood and Adelaide play an NAC Cup pre-season game at the Ghantoot Polo & Racing Club in Abu Dhabi.
Port Adelaide are certainly looking for their trip to the Middle East to be a tremendous boost to the new season as they look to improve on their fifth placing in the 2013 Premiership season.
The new 2013/14 season for AFL Middle East commences soon on the 25th October with the clash between last year’s premiers the Dubai Dragons and the Muscat Magpies.