Fitness the same ball game no matter the code
They may play a different ball code, but keeping match fit is everyone's game. Just ask Gold Coast Suns Academy and the Marlin Coast Marlins. The AFL development side swapped fitness tips with the Far North's state league netball representative team in a half hour session on Friday designed to test athletic endurance. "The Marlins are the elite netball team of the area, so it's nice to get them together (with the Academy)," Cairns academy coach Ben Hallas said. "We wouldn't mind liasing throughout the year. We've both got travel....so we'll pick their brains as much as we can about the best way to recover from those things, like flights or whatever it may be." Around 25 under 16 and under 18 academy players trained alongside the Marlins squad, with a focus on distance running, ball handling skills and hand-eye coordination. Marlins coach Winnie Whately said the cross-training exercise was a win-win for her side, as they looked for some extra motivation ahead of the start of the State Netball League season in March. "These guys have been training since October and so have we, so by the time we get to this point, just before competition, motivation can struggle a little bit," she said. "It's just getting them out and experiencing what it's like to be a professional sports person."