'Cogs' kindly agreed to answer some questions from PREnders. The effort is greatly appreciated.
PRE- In 2004 and early 2005 you were suffering the
effects of OP. How did yourself and the club manage that to ensure that there
was no lasting damage, and that you were able to get back onto the field ASAP?
MC- The Richmond medical staff have traditionally avoided surgery on groin related injuries which I believe is a good thing after having a good dose of the OP. Unfortunately the simple answer is rest which means no running until your tests are clear, and if its bad enough, some cross training has to be avoided. I have seen some guys only able to box on their backs for months until things improve.
PRE- Are you completely over your OP problems, & what is your training regime to keep it at bay?
MC- Yes I am but anyone that has had the injury will tell you that if you slack off with your core stability work you feel things becoming weak which for me is the first sign of trouble.
PRE- Who were the biggest influences on your career in your WA days?
MC- Football wise Dean Kemp was my idol and in terms of influence I would say my family.
PRE- Did Cleve really put himself on a dating service on the net?
MC- Doesnít ring a bell but you would have to ask the boy himself! I know a lot of my mates (not football) are getting on My Space and getting some good results so they say. Apparently itís the new thingÖ.
PRE- During your career have you played in the forward
line and could you see yourself going forward and kicking more goals?
MC- Always like to kick more goals. Think the best sides have a midfield that kicks goals, which hasnít been our strong point. Wouldnít mind kicking some from there first.
PRE- Cogs, what is the vibe like at the club at the
moment, with so many promising kids around?
MC- Exciting. The group is very tight which probably started the year A. Raines, Harty, Roachy etc; were drafted. They became good mates from the outset which emulated in the next group coming through probably seeing that and joining in.
PRE- Cogs, Do you see yourself as a potential captain of the RFC?
MC- Iíd like to join the leadership group at some stage. Being a leader requires consistency as a footballer on the ground, which I havenít had for long periods.
PRE- What have the new batch of young kids brought to
the club apart from their football ability?
PRE- How hard is it to be so disciplined during the season in relation to drinking, eating the right foods, and dealing with disgraceful supporters who give personal abuse to you?
MC- Honestly have to say the supporters for the last couple of seasons have been positive, although I donít think thereís anything wrong with one that lets you know what they think, as long as they know what theyíre talking about.
Everyone differs in terms of the drinking. Some donít mind it and others avoid it completely. I have however seen a pretty big change in terms of end of year events. Think as a group we are quite professional.
The eating is obviously important and it doesnít take a rocket scientist to work out which foods are good and which are bad for you! We also from a young age are well educated on what foods to eat and at what stages during the week.
PRE- Who takes longer in the mirror, you or Lids?
MC- Heís not bad, has me by a whisker
PRE- What are the only meals you can cook?
MC- I actually enjoy cooking and Lids has had to bear the brunt of preparing work. His culinary skills have improved out of site.
PRE- What is the most annoying thing about living with Lids?
MC- Canít ever get the 6pm news on because the Simpsons are on. Also the supermarket attendant down the street mistakes me for Brett each time I shop there. I just play along with it.
PRE- Who does most of the housework, you or lids?
PRE- What were your impressions of the 2006 season from a personal and also from a team perspective?
MC- From a team perspective we would have loved to have played finals but I think our position at the end of the year reflected where we were as a group. Clichť but I believe that is how the coaching staff summarised the season also. Personally I started slowly and started improving until in Rd12 I injured myself for the season, which at the time was a bitter pill to swallow.
PRE- Which current player would you most like recruited to Richmond?
MC- Chris Judd
PRE- Cogs what do you think of Lids?
MC- Very mature young man who has come from a good family. He is extremely disciplined and extremely hard on himself which I donít think is such a bad thing. Living together has never been a problem and I think we have got a lot out of each otherís habits and values.
PRE- Are you still interested in cricket & do you get the chance to get in the nets? Anyone at the club with a higher score than your PB? Have you had the chance to tonk Lids' bowling over mid-off?
MC- Love watching cricket but donít get the chance to play much anymore. Lids unfortunately has the better of me in the back yard and as far as top scores go also.
PRE- What are your interests outside of football?
MC- Keep myself busy with study and at a bit of reading.
PRE- What is the best thing about playing in the AFL? And the toughest?
MC- Playing on the MCG on a Saturday afternoon is great, injuries are tough.
PRE- Who's the toughest opponent you've played on?
MC- Mark Ricciuto
PRE- What aspects of your game are your strengths/weaknesses?
MC- Ball gets and marking are strengths, kicking can let me down at times
PRE- What are the positives and negatives of being an AFL footballer?
MC- Positives are the people you meet and the social networking you develop. Arenít too many negatives, - maybe early morning sessions down the bay.
PRE- Who are your mates at the club?
MC- All the guys
PRE- What are your team and personal objectives for the next few years?
MC- To play finals football and have an influence in that. Want to see the club develop into a powerhouse again.
PRE- Are you superstitious? Any thoughts of swapping the #24 for something a bit 'luckier'?
MC- Not overly superstitious, eat the same meal before every game. I wore the same pair of socks for 2 seasons until they were rags.
PRE- Can you tell us a bit about your off-field duties at RFC please Mark? We donít often hear about the charity work players do.
MC- I think as a club we are very good in that area. We help out 4 or 5 different charities and each player is assigned to any one of them.
PRE- What are you doing outside of footy as far as work and study go? Do you have any idea of a career youíd like to follow when you retire from football?
MC- Studying business externally through Monash University, which I find interesting. Business is quite a broad degree so where it takes me at this stage I am not overly sure. I enjoy talking to supporters of the club about what they have done in their careers, which gives me more of an idea about where I want to go post footy.
PRE- What are your duties as part of the junior leadership group?
MC- As part of the younger leaders we got together and organised a couple of functions throughout the year. We also sit in on some of the senior leadership meetings and have a say in terms of our current position and where we want to head as a group.
PRE- Richmond tends to have a very passionate supporter base that makes a lot of noise. Does the crowd have any effect or are you oblivious to the noise out on the field?
MC- Personally I donít notice the crowd too much game day but in saying that you notice the difference when you are playing in front of 70k at the MCG as opposed to 20k at Telstra.
PRE- Can you describe your game day routine to us?
MC- Depends on whether you are playing night or day but I basically sleep in as long as possible, eat the right food, go for a walk, read the paper then get to the game.
PRE- Who do players try to avoid rooming with on interstate trips?
PRE- Who is the most fashion conscious player at the club?
MC- Nathan Brown, A Raines is biting at his heels.
PRE- What stage of your rehab are you at and do you have any idea of time frames when youíll be able to participate in full training and to resume playing again?
MC- Been running for about 3 weeks now so I have a bit of ground to make up. Would hope after the Xmas break I will be close to full training.
PRE- Purple is a pretty pooncey colour; surely you wouldnít want to play for Freo? Can you put the rumours to rest that youíll be traded to the west for 2007? Are you tempted to return home or would you prefer to stay in Victoria and be part of Richmondís future success?
MC- Just rumours. Very happy at the Tigers. We have an excellent group that has developed upwardly on the field and the work done internally also cannot be underestimated. Steven Wright and Greg Miller lead the way there.
Thanks for taking time to answer these questions for us Mark. Thanks also for putting your body on the line so often for the RFC. Best wishes for the injury gods to smile and pass you by in future and good luck for the rest of your career.