Pies camp more than footy for Pendlebury
A return to the Gold Coast in January is as much about the coffee dates as it is the footy for Collingwood captain Scott Pendlebury.
The midfielder says time spent chatting over a long macchiato was just as important as Monday's full-contact match simulation.
Collingwood are spending a week on the Gold Coast for the second-straight year, having devoted chunks of their pre-season in the US states of Utah and Arizona previous to that.
"You get away for a camp, change of environment, bit of bonding and the heat up here is nice," Pendlebury said.
"It's similar training (to what would be happening in Melbourne) but it's the added things once training is done; it's the coffees, the dinners you have as a group.
"I've enjoyed all the camps you get away to; you feel closer when you get back to Melbourne."
It was a homecoming of sorts for returning Magpie Dayne Beams, who learnt his footy on the Gold Coast before becoming a household name at Collingwood.
"He's a genuine A-grader and goalkicking mid, which is hard to find," Pendlebury said of the former Brisbane Lions captain.
"It's great he wanted to come home and come back to us, great to have him on board and (Western Bulldogs recruit) Jordan Roughead as well.
"Forward, back, ruck - he's so versatile and a ripping fella as well."
Adam Treloar, Daniel Wells, Jamie Elliot, Matthew Scharenberg, Lynden Dunn and Tim Broomhead were among those restricted to light duties as the club manages their extensive injury list.
Pendlebury said that only spurred on others to fight for a spot as they start again from scratch following last year's loss to West Coast in a grand final thriller.
"We've got to acknowledge the (Grand Final) game and how it went down … we can't just wipe it," the 31-year-old said.
"You learn from it and the journey starts again now."