Roar focus on fitness

Queensland coach Frank Farina has put a strong emphasis on fitness in the first week of the club's pre-season training.

Queensland coach Frank Farina has put a strong emphasis on fitness in the first week of the club's pre-season training.

The Roar have enlisted the help of boxing champion and renowned fitness trainer Mark 'Chopper' Burgess and he has shown no mercy as he took the players through a gruelling session on Thursday morning.

Farina said the fitness program has been restructured from previous years due to the addition of two new teams into the league.

"They'll need their weekends off," he smiled.

"We've always placed a big emphasis on fitness. I think we've shown we've competed with every team and run over the top of them towards the end of the games."

"But there's a bit more emphasis on it this year because there are more games - 27 games - and we're going to be missing (some) of the young boys for the (Under-20s) World Cup so we've got to make sure everyone's ready."

Goalkeeper Liam Reddy showed no signs of complaining and welcomed the tough workload.

"A bit of variety in pre-season never hurts and the boys have really taken to it," he said.

"Pre-season is fitness orientated but (Thursday morning's session was) a different sort of fitness which is good. I particularly enjoy it because I'm not doing too much running so it works well for me."

"I expect high standards from my game and last year I had some games where I wasn't happy with how I went but I'm looking forward to knuckling down this pre-season and hitting the ground running."

Reddy said the players are looking forward to the addition of Gold Coast United and North Queensland Fury for the upcoming season.

"All the players are obviously looking forward to the upcoming year," he said. "It's going to be good for Queensland football to have two derbies."

"As much as everyone's talking about the Gold Coast I think it will be just as important to get one over North Queensland as well because, as you see in the rugby league, there's a good three-way battle with them and hopefully that can happen in the A-League too."