By Rachael Price
St George Illawarra Dragons Head Coach Paul McGregor listened to the request of players regarding the renovation and installation of new training facilities over the off-season.
McGregor oversaw the upgrade and refurbishment of the training gymnasium which included new weights and cardiovascular equipment as well as the fitting of a new altitude room.
This activation was complementary to the new coaching and performance staff that will additionally be assisting him for the new season.
“Pre-season training is going really well; we have all new facilities and the boys have been working really hard,” said McGregor.
“We conducted a player review at the end of the season asking them what they wanted to see; the main request was new facilities.
“We put in a new gymnasium, an altitude room and new physio facilities so they have the sense of ownership that was lacking before.
“Rather than splitting training between the University of Wollongong and WIN Stadium, like we used to, we now have a one venue training facility.
“All the boys need to do when they wake up is come to training, have breakfast and get in to a normal day’s work, then come back in for lunch.
“We have all new performance staff, we now have who we want here at the Dragons.
“We have Ciriaco Mescia who has been in the system before and been to Grand Finals with the Sydney Roosters and Wests Tigers and he was at the Parramatta Eels last year.
“Liz Steet has joined the team and who is well-known as a physio of the highest level, we also have two other full-time exercise physiologists and Mark Andrews has taken over our Performance.
“We have two new Assistant Coaches in Dean Young and Ben Hornby who are came up through the Under 20s systems last year; they’ve bled for the Club.
“It’s important to have people close who you can trust and Ben and Dean are two guys who are very good to lean on.
“Ian Millward has had a lot of experience overseas so I’m really glad we were able to secure someone with the experience that he has.
“Last but not least we have Peter Mulholland who has been at four different clubs in the last 12 years, he’s been at the Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs, Penrith Pamthers, Newcastle Knights and now us.
“We really needed someone like him who knows how the salary cap works and who knows what players are worth.
“I think when a new coach comes to a club he wants to do things a little differently to what has been done in the past and I think that was the case with me too and I needed a person like Peter with the right experience to guide me through it.”