THE Gunnedah Bulldogs have begun their preparations for the 2020 Group 4 season with their first pre-season training session on Sunday.
Players from all four grades took to Donnelly Fields to be put through their paces in a number of drills.
Under the watchful eye of new first-grade coach Mick Schmiedel, the players took part in both fitness and ball handling drills.
The focus of the first session of the pre-season was basic technique and team work.
Joining, Schmiedel in the coaching ranks for 2020 will be David McCann and Lance Martin (reserve grade), Brad Harris (under-18) and Wayne Griffiths (ladies league tag).
A fitness instructor by trade, Schmiedel told the Leaderin September he would be focusing on the side's fitness during the off season.
"In my opinion, if you are fit you give yourself the best chance to succeed," he said.
"If we are beaten in a game, I want to be able to say it was either because we were out-played or out-coached, not because we weren't fit enough."
Sunday's session was the first of the Dogs' pre-Christmas sessions, with the club hosting its second session on December 15.
The Bulldogs will be looking to use the pre-season sessions to improve on their fourth-place finish in the 2019 first-grade season.
Despite a mixed season of results, the Bulldogs made the finals, only to be eliminated by the Kootingal-Moonbi Roosters 54-18 in the minor semi-final.
Sunday's training session will begin at 2pm and players from all grades are welcome to attend.