Young Tiger on the prowl
YOUNG Tiger Brandon Ellis expects the jokers to come out of the pack as the squad begins a mystery team-building journey from Gordonvale to the Daintree today.The 19-year-old was a standout in his debut season, playing a staggering 21 games in the Richmond defence.
Now graduated from the rookie group, Ellis is one of the big boys and is helping the newest recruits.
"They had to get up and tell a bit about themselves," he said.
"A few cracked some funny jokes, but I have a feeling there will be a few more jokes once we get going on the Amazing Race."
As for what they are actually doing for the next three days, no-one is quite sure.
Players, media and most club staff are still in the dark on plans, although it is confirmed they will be outrigging at Yorkeys Knob tomorrow morning.
"I don't know too much about it. The coaches have been a little sly," Ellis said.
"It's been really good to get up here and train in the heat. It's different to anything at home. We've adapted pretty well and made sure we have hydrated well."
The Tiger said returning to the Cazalys turf, where they were slammed for another two hours in the heat yesterday morning, had brought back a few bad memories.
"It was pretty daunting. We walked over the pocket where Karmichael Hunt kicked that goal, where the Gold Coast boys celebrated. We can't wait to get back up here and make amends," Ellis said.
He said he was not feeling overwhelmed at the prospect of having to improve after such a successful first year in the AFL.
"I'm always thinking about it, pinching myself every time I walk out there," he said.
"There's a little bit of pressure, but with another pre-season under my belt hopefully I'll be fitter, improve my football and be able to help us make the finals."
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Amazing race: Brandon Ellis (middle) at training at Cazalys yesterday morning. Picture: STEWART McCLEAN