Norwood Football Club  

26/03/2013 3:19:33 PM


South Australian under-18 star, and Norwood premiership player, James Aish sat down with the SANFL’s Zac Milbank for the first instalment of a monthly Q and A series this year.

MILBANK: Thanks for joining me James. I guess the obvious question is to find out how your recovery from a shoulder injury is progressing?
AISH: It’s actually improved enormously in the past few weeks. The range is all coming back and the strength in it is getting better, so it’s all going to plan which is good.

MILBANK: Are you still aiming for a return in round four roughly?
AISH: We haven’t really put a timeframe on it at the moment because I still have to get back to training first. We’ll have to wait and see how it goes week-by-week. I know it’s a cliché but we’ll take a bit of extra caution because I’m young and have got a big year ahead. From my end, it would be great to play as soon as I can but we’ll see what happens.

MILBANK: How has the injury been in terms of soreness?
AISH: I haven’t really had any pain for a good few months so that’s good. Now it’s just about getting all of my strength back and then I will get back into it.

MILBANK: You mentioned getting the strength back, what sort of training have you been able to manage lately?
AISH: The past three to four weeks I’ve been able to ramp up the weights to a degree. I’m working in there (gym) three to four sessions a week as well as completing a daily rehab plan so it’s been pretty full on. But when it’s getting results it makes it a bit easier. Since I’ve been able to do the weights, the shoulder has improved enormously.

MILBANK: Have you been able to touch the footy much recently?
AISH: In the past few weeks I’ve been able to start light marking and I can kick as much as I want at the moment. I’m hoping by the time I get over to Europe for the AIS trip I can get into a few non-contact drills. That’s the plan so hopefully that goes ahead.

MILBANK: You must be looking forward to the AIS/AFL Academy trip to Europe later this month?
AISH: It’s crept up on us quickly. It’s going to be a fantastic trip. Unfortunately I won’t be playing which is disappointing. But I will still be able to experience a lot, learn a lot and keep training really hard. We’re actually playing a game on the MCG against Collingwood’s VFL side on Easter Thursday before we fly out. It’s the main game the team has been building towards before the trip, it will be a big football test for us as a group as we will be playing against men. And there’s a fair chance there could be some high profile AFL players playing, coming back from injury. Hopefully we can take it right up to them and have a win.

MILBANK: I understand it’s also the curtain-raiser for the Carlton v Richmond match so it would be great if you could experience the atmosphere from the coach’s box. Is that a possibility?
AISH: That was discussed as a possibility so maybe that or I might be the runner for a little bit so to get out there (on the MCG) would be great.

MILBANK: Tell us more about the trip to Europe once that match has been played?
AISH: We’re going to Italy first and we’ve got a tour of AC Milan (soccer team) with the possibility of seeing a match, so we will be learning a bit from them. Then we will be playing a game against a combined European team. We’ll also be going to an English Premier League game in England as well, QPR v Wigan. While we’re in Italy we will be at the Australian Institute of Sport’s base there so the first six days will be really full on. Then we end up in Denmark where we will play a scratch match mixed in with the guys from the Europe team.

MILBANK: Obviously you won’t be able to play any matches while you are away but what sort of things do you want to learn from the trip?
AISH: When the games are on, hopefully I will be able to sit in with the coaches. Then I will be able to learn from them to find out what it’s like to be a coach because that’s a whole new perspective on football. In a way it’s teaching me what it’s like to be a professional athlete as such because I will be there and my only focus will be football. And in this instance, ensuring I get my rehab done on my shoulder. So it will give me a good indication of what it takes to succeed.

MILBANK: Just on the coaching side of things, Sydney great Michael O’Loughlin is the man in charge of your AIS group, so I bet you are looking forward to tapping into his mindset?
AISH: He’s been on all of the trips we’ve had so far but with the training only being skill-based at the moment we haven’t had much to do with him one-on-one. But of the time I have spent with him, he’s been fantastic. He’s just a great guy who you can get along with really well. We’ve had a few tactical meetings so he’s provided a really good insight into the way football works. It will be exciting to see what else I can learn from him.

MILBANK: With O’Loughlin coming from the successful Swans culture, what has he passed on in terms of preparing to win?
AISH: He’s really strong on being on time. That’s his pet hate, if you are late. So there are punishments for the whole team if anyone is late. That’s the main thing that he’s implemented which is really good in terms of building a team culture.

MILBANK: Finally, it must be good to head overseas with seven other South Aussies (Matt Scharenberg, Trent Dumont, Alex Spina, Luke Dunstan, Darcy Hourigan, Dwayne Wilson and Luke Reynolds) who are also in the AIS Academy?
AISH: It will be great. They are a great bunch of guys and five of us were in the team last year as well so we’ve built a pretty good relationship. We all get along really well and look out for each other so to get away together will be fantastic.

MILBANK: Thanks again for your time James, all the best on your trip. I look forward to catching up with you next month to find out how it all went.

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