Lewis Pierce leaving no stone unturned

L Pierce VFL Rd 18

Lewis Pierce admits he is ‘still pretty skinny’ and knows how much hard work is required if he is to realise his ambition of playing an AFL game. But the 19-year-old isn’t daunted by this – rather his desire to succeed has been solidified recently after a back injury ruled him out of St Kilda’s trip to Boulder, Colorado.

“I had a stress injury in my lower back and I had an eight-week period where I was unable to do very much,” Pierce told SAINTS.com.au on Tuesday.

“The last four or five weeks I’ve really started to ramp it up with bike sessions – I’ve also recently started running – and hopefully starting skill work soon.”

Pierce is unsure why the setback happened when it did, but is working tirelessly every day to reach full fitness ahead of the 2014 season.

“I might be still growing but I’m not 100 per cent sure. Last year I grew about a centimetre so it (the injury) could have had something to do with that. My muscles are still growing around my bones.”

“Today we woke up at about 6.30 in the morning and came in for a bit of gym and did an upper body session,” he said. “We did an ‘alty program’ today in our new altitude chamber. We were trying to do that just for a bit of heat training and we did about a 50 minute to an hour session in there and turned the legs over a fair bit.”

St Kilda’s altitude chamber is proving to be a central part of pre-season training under Alan Richardson and his fitness staff and Pierce is a big fan of the high-tech room full of bikes and rowing machines.

“I missed Colorado last year and did my own sort of stuff here and did a lot of stuff in the altitude chamber. It’s a pretty accurate replica to what the boys were doing in the US because you can reach heights of up to 5000 metres in there.”

Aside from the fitness side of pre-season, the young ruckman is committed to developing his game under the tutelage of two-time premiership ruckman Darren Jolly this summer and into the winter months.

“It’s my second year but I’m just looking to improve myself still by working with the newly appointed Darren Jolly – I’m enjoying working closely with him,” he said.

The competition for spots will be red hot following the acquisition of Billy Longer last October and the continued improvement of Tom Hickey. Pierce is up for the challenge and will be tapping into Jolly’s vast base of knowledge as much as possible.

“I’m looking forward to what he can teach me to better myself. Obviously there is always that goal of playing my first game and I’ll be sure to push myself hard for that.”

“I’m really looking forward to building back to what I was sort of late last year.”

Click here to watch the video. – keep an eye out for PMG’s Rhys Stanley, Sam Dunell, Josh Saunders and Spencer White.
For: saints.com.au