COVID may have reared its ugly head again this week, but veteran Tim Coenraad insists the Hawks aren't getting distracted as they ramp up preparations for their NBL campaign.
It was the latest in a series of setbacks for the Hawks, who spent the majority of last season on the road due to border closures caused by COVID. But Coenraad said the Hawks were remaining upbeat, instead shifting their focus to Saturday's final Blitz clash with the Kings.
"When we found out, it was pretty much like 'alright, COVID strikes again' - it's starting to become like an old record, but it is what it is. There's not much you can do about it. For us, we'll get in another good training session in before our next game. We'll shift gears and go after training a bit more," he said.
"I think it's something that we adjusted to last season. I mean I wasn't in the thick of it for too much of the season, but I think it's just one of those things that we're going to have to live with again this season.
"Hopefully with the way testing is and everything like that, and the way we can establish when things are safe or not, hopefully that's got better since last season which I think it has. For us, it's like 'no game this Thursday, let's put our attention towards Saturday'."
Brian Goorjian's men have been among the Blitz frontrunners and can claim their first pre-season trophy since 2016 with victory over rivals Sydney.
Coenraad said there were good signs for Illawarra in Melbourne, but there was plenty of work to be done.
"I know South East Melbourne were down on a few numbers, but I think it was good for us to know that we can mix it up with those teams. They're both great teams, they were playoff teams last season and they're championship teams. For us to get a win against them, even though it is pre-season, is helpful, but it doesn't mean much if you can't do it during the season," he said.
"The pre-season is all about us moving forward and getting better every day. We've got to try and develop chemistry, and what was a positive sign in the Melbourne game was Xavier (Rathan-Mayes) was able to get some run with guys like Tyler (Harvey), Justinian (Jessup) and Duop (Reath), they're starting to work well together.
'I think we've got some really good pedigree in our team and I'm really excited to see what they're capable of when it comes crunch time in the season."
When we found out, it was pretty much like 'alright, COVID strikes again' - it's starting to become like an old record, but it is what it is.- Tim Coenraad
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