The Sharks’ Physical Performance Manager for two and a bit seasons, Gray has been in and around NRL squads for just on two decades; he’s a physiotherapist, strength and conditioning specialist and sports scientist rolled in to one. Andrew Gray lets Inside Sport behind the curtain of the reigning champions.
You have one job
“Primarily I see my role, and the role of our performance department is to prepare the players so they’re best equipped to do their job to the best of their ability; so that they reach their potential. For me, a big one, probably from having been in the game for so long, and seeing so many players have careers that perhaps should have been longer, I see my role as to really give the players longevity. My role to the coach is to provide players who are ready to do the job to the best of their ability, across a long season, as often as possible.”
80 minutes of fame
“In the NRL we can have anywhere from five days, up to almost 16 days between games – if we have a bye week – but the most frequent gap between matches is between five and nine. You hear people talking about the NRL season being a marathon. Well, it’s not a marathon and it’s not really a sprint. It’s a marathon that turns into a sprint for the last four weeks. So a marathon season, but if you’re not in good shape come finals time, you might as well not be there because the intensity level goes through the roof. Even though there’s a week-to-week focus, our ultimate aim is to be in the best shape possible come finals time. Within that, as a football department – a coaching and performance department – everything we do is focused on that 80 minutes each week; making sure our players are the best-prepared they can be and are given the best chance of winning over that 80 minutes.”
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