Canberra Raiders Senior Management have kicked off their sporting tour of the United States, seeking new ideas and methods that will bring the Raiders success on and off the field. The first stop was a two day visit to the Seattle Seahawks Victoria Mason Athletic Centre (VMAC).
Chief Executive Officer Don Furner, Head Coach Ricky Stuart, Commercial and Marketing Manager Jason Mathie and Football Manager John Bonasera were blown away by the facilities and methods employed by the Seahawks.
The Seahawks have established themselves as a leading team in the NFL, winning the 2013 Super Bowl and narrowly losing the 2014 title. The first day of the visit involved Stuart and Bonasera going behind the scenes with Seahawks Football personnel, observing both on-field and off-field sessions in preparation for the upcoming match against the Pittsburgh Steelers.
The two heads of the Raiders Football Department gained valuable insight not only into the immediate sessions being delivered by senior coaches, including the legendary head coach Pete Carroll, but also from acquiring tips on developing best training environment preparation and player management practices.
Stuart with Seahawks Placekicker Steven Hauschka.
The Senior Managers begun day two by watching the Seahawks final practise session before the match against the Pittsburgh Steelers. With Seattle’s weather in winter often extremely undesirable, the Seahawks practice session was held in their enviable indoor training field, one of the largest in the US.
The Super Bowl ring from the Seahawks 2013 season triumph.
Following the session, a comprehensive facility tour was conducted, which provided further insight into the configuration and construction of the VMAC. During the tour, Seahawks Sports Science, Facility Operations and research staff gave their time in what turned out to be mutually beneficial small workshops for both organisations. The VMAC was built in 2007 and is currently the second largest facility in the NFL.
The group with Seahawks Defensive Tackle Ahtyba Rubin.
Bonasera was impressed by the Seahawks facility and believes the insider experience gained from the two day tour will only benefit the Raiders in the future.
“The opportunity to visit an organisation of this magnitude was a great insight into what is achievable in the development of a new facility. Just as importantly, many of our day-to-day processes were reinforced, which provides peace of mind and fills us with optimism. The opportunity afforded by Seahawks staff was priceless and will hold us in good stead going forward. I can’t thank them enough for looking after us” Bonasera said.
Entrance to the Seahawks training facility.
The Raiders are currently hopeful of a new development application to return to their spiritual home at Northbourne Oval in Braddon. The Seahawks visit has provided the Senior Management group with many ideas that can be utilised in the application and development of a new facility for the Raiders.
The experiences of the Raiders Senior Management tour of the US will be chronicled on our website over the course of their three week trip. The group will also be visiting NFL teams San Francisco 49ers and Oakland Raiders, along with College Football Universities and a Major Leaguer Soccer team.