Revolution Treated Like Saints

A group of USA Revolution players and coaches joined the St Kilda Saints in their 2013 high altitude preseason training camp December 1-2 at the University of Colorado Boulder.

Before taking the field Saturday morning, Saints Coach Scott Watters addressed the Revolution players and coaches, welcoming them to the training camp. The Revolution players then joined Saints players in team warm-ups, mingling with the likes of Lenny Hayes, Nick Riewoldt, Justin Koschitzke, Nick Dal Santo, and Leigh Montagna.

Revolution Vice-Captain, Andrew Werner, from the Minnesota Freeze, called it one of the most memorable experiences of his footy career.

“Getting the chance to warm up, kick, and chat with the players was great,” Werner said. “The reception from the players and coaches was tremendous as they were very welcoming and were genuinely interested in our interest and involvement with the sport.”

Bryan Dragus, Revolution player and member of the Los Angeles Dragons, expressed great appreciation for the reception provided by the St Kilda Saints.

“Top-level professionals, like Nick Dal Santo, Lenny Hayes, Nick Riewoldt, down to rookie listed players, welcomed us as if we were just drafted,” Dragus said. “Every conversation had value, like you were speaking to an old friend. Topics ranged from nutrition and recovery techniques to family and managing a very visible lifestyle.”

After the training concluded and the Saints players cleared the field and headed to their recovery session, Saints Player Development Coach Paul Hudson took the Revolution players, and members of local club the Denver Bulldogs, through a 45-minute training session. Hudson ran the players through a number of drills, imparting his wisdom as both an ex-player and a coach.

Hudson and a few of the Saints support staff met the Revolution players and coaches at the field Sunday for another training session. Following the training, the Revolution players and coaches showed their appreciation by presenting Hudson and General Manager of Football, Greg Hutchison, with a USA Revolution jumper and other apparel from their respective USAFL clubs.

Throughout the weekend, the USA Revolution staff and players focused on what they learned and could take away from their time spent with the Saints. Communication, execution, work ethic, leadership, professionalism, preparation, and focus were all characteristics the Revolution observed throughout the weekend as core values the Saints embraced during the training camp. The Revolution staff and players hope to take all of these examples and apply them in the lead-up to the next AFL International Cup (IC) in 2014, where the Revolution will be competing against teams from all across the globe.

“We can take a lot from this experience in preparing and gelling as a team before the next IC,” said Kyle Johnson, a member of the Revolution and Golden Gate Roos. “Not only tips in physical preparation, but also intangibles like the unwavering positive communication between all players, including the leadership group. Things like that can really help bring a group of guys together and build chemistry and trust.”

The USA Revolution players and coaches wish to extend a heartfelt thank-you to the St Kilda Saints players and staff for providing such a tremendously fun and invaluable experience, not only for the participants, but for the USAFL as a whole. Best of luck to the Saints in their 2013 campaign and beyond, and we hope to see the boys again soon.

Written by USA Revolution player's Andrew Werner, Brent Fischer, Kyle Johnson, Bryan Dragus and Andy Vanica.

Check out all the weekend's photos here »

Interested in becoming an official Saints Member? Check out the options for overseas membership here »

Posted in 
Watch AFL