Along with teammate Daniel Lloyd, Cameron took the rod out on the rocks at Scarborough and Cottesloe beaches. They left empty handed, not that Cameron minded, particularly if he lands a bag against Fremantle.
“It was more about just being out,” Cameron said. “It was great to get outside the hotel post that 14-day lockdown period we had.”
Fishing is Cameron’s release. At home in Sydney, it’s not unusual for him to take his boat miles out to sea. If club staff cannot contact him, it’s generally because he has gone somewhere well out of phone reception.
Last year, in his Coleman Medal-winning season, he went fishing three to four times a week. That has been scaled back this year due to strict COVID-19 protocols.
There was a small window just before the Giants left for Queensland when fishing was permitted, which just happened to be when Cameron played some of his best football.
Quarantine life has not agreed with Cameron, who found he could not escape the game. He likened the set-up to sleeping at the football club in Sydney.
‘I’m normally out [fishing] three, four times every week last year.’
“That’s pretty much what it’s like, you’d just have a bed in the change rooms,” Cameron said.
“You walk into the gym to do gym, you walk out of the gym, do ice baths; it’s all in the same sort of spot – that’s what it’s been like.
“For me, I don’t like that at all but it’s something we’ve all had to deal with and we all want to play football.
“I’m normally out [fishing] three, four times every week last year. When I come into the club I’m refreshed, give everything I can to get better and play really good football. It really worked for me last year, this year has been the complete opposite really.”
He says his contractual situation has had no bearing on his form. The speculation linking him to a move to his home state overlooks the fact his family have moved from Dartmoor in Victoria’s west across the border to Mount Gambier – a four-hour drive to the nearest club, Geelong.
Of course, there is more to Cameron’s form than just being able to fish – and he knows that. He is not a fan of the shortened quarters, which limits his ability to tire out opponents. The Giants’ midfield is down, which affects ball movement and his chances of finding space.
“There’s different things we’re working on. The stuff around my contest, bringing the ball to ground has been OK, it’s more getting my hands on it,” Cameron said.
“Defenders come after me, I’ve got to look at my leading patterns. It’s not just the change in season, [it’s about] how I can work to get more footy, get back to last year when I was getting lots of possessions as well as hitting the scoreboard.”
Andrew Wu writes on cricket and AFL for The Sydney Morning Herald