Demons defender Hibberd relishes best pre-season in years
AFL: Melbourne defender Michael Hibberd has labelled the current pre-season campaign as his best in five years and is eager to to hit the ground running come the season-opener.
Hibberd was in action alongside Demons teammates at Maroochydore Multi-Sports Complex for an open training session on Saturday.
It was one of their final hit-outs during their pre-season visit to the region and Hibberd said he'd relished the opportunity.
He said the camp had been a crucial team-bonding experience and was particularly impressed with the efforts from newcomers to the club.
"We've got some new draftees that have come through and they're showing their skills and what they're about so it's been good to get to know these kids and a few of them will push for games this year the way they've been training," Hibberd said.
The 29-year-old is entering his ninth season in the AFL and his third in Demons colours.
He was hopeful of a big year on-field having relished a fruitful pre-season.
"This is probably the best pre-season I've had for a while," he said.
"I haven't had a full pre-season since about 2014. I haven't missed a session and I'm feeling good and fit but once you get into the games you find out how truly fit you are so I'm looking forward to that.
"Pre-season tends to drag on a bit and get tedious but I'm looking forward to games for sure."
While they entered their first finals campaign in 12 years last season, Hibberd said the Demons had been disappointed with how they exited.
They were determined not to enter 2019 stronger than ever.
"(We need) consistency, that last game in the prelim definitely wasn't the Melbourne way and a way we'd like to play and finish the year for sure so we're just hoping this year that we don't dish up any efforts like that. More consistent all-round performances (are needed) over the year and we're looking forward to bouncing back."