Fox Sports Journalist Nathan Ryan joins the Parramatta Eels for a day as the team take on the Central Coast sand dunes as part of pre-season training.

’m dizzy, short of breath and can barely lift my feet.

I look around at the players surround me and they have smiles painted across their faces.

It’s clear to say, NRL pre-season is no place for a journalist.

My name is Nathan Ryan from Fox Sports and earlier this month I was welcomed into Parramatta’s camp on the Central Coast for pre-season training on the sand dunes.

It was the toughest thing I have ever done. I finished the session broken but not beaten.

That’s largely thanks to the encouragement of some selfless players in Kaysa Pritchard, Cameron King and Tim Mannah amongst others.

The gym session was tough but it was the sand that pushed both me and the players to our physical and mental limits.

“My heart rate was through the roof,” Tepai Moeroa told me after the session.

“We did it last year and it was 42 degrees. I thought it wouldn’t be as bad because it wasn’t as hot it was the worst.”

As fans, you read about the hard slog that is pre-season and as a journalist I write about it. But it’s not until you pull on the shoes and actually do the session yourself that you can truly appreciate what these athletes put their bodies and minds through.

Obviously, not everyone can be granted the access to such a session, so as the Guinea pig, I joined the Eels in the gym and sand for what they fittingly dubbed their ‘torture session’.

Take a look at my day from hell and live out a day in the life of an Eels star through my eyes! 

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