One New Zealand Warriors players and football staff have packed in an extra early-morning training session, a full day’s work on some real tools and an evening field session to finish in an initiative driven by new head coach Andrew Webster.
After clocking in for gym workouts at Mount Smart Stadium from 5.00am on Monday, the entire group headed to Wiri in Manukau City to join the workforce with Downer, New Zealand’s leading engineering, infrastructure management and construction services provider.
“It gives them the chance to experience and respect what ordinary people do every day as well as providing a deeper appreciation of the privileged existence they have as professional athletes.
“It’s also a test of their resilience, getting up early to train, doing a full day’s work and then training again in the evening.
“It ticks a lot of boxes and also enables us to reconnect with our community after being in exile in Australia for the last three years.”
A total of 40 players and staff were split into five groups.
The largest of them – including Webster and captain Tohu Harris– was with the traffic management team which worked in three operational areas across Auckland.
Jazz Tevaga, Bayley Sironen and assistant coach Stacey Jones were in a group working with Downer’s facilities division on café and cleaning duties, warehouse work and garden and parks maintenance; while Shaun Johnson, Marcelo Montoya and four other players were with the utilities team helping to move cables and prepare 5G towers for installation.
The reward on Tuesday was being back at Mount Smart from 6.15am for another solid day's work for the preseason.