Conditions were windy and overcast and training was entirely confined to the main McCracken oval.
Your reporters and spectators were strung out in a sombre conclave in the forward pocket – only men of the middle years and old Baby Boomers, like blowies on a window sill.
No kids kicking footies, no desperate followers decked in Essendon livery.
The affable Mark Purser (Club Chaplain) stood behind the goals, football clutched to his bosom, looking ready to smite any Philistine who opposed Scott’s true spiritual discipline and had worshipped strange gods of gluttony over the break.
Jake Stringer was one who had definitely been saved and looked the slimmest I have seen – rumour being that he had served time in the wilderness of a health farm.
Why have I described it as Wyrd Training?
weird derives from the old English noun wyrd essentially meaning “fate”.
In Latin the “Fates” were three goddesses who spun, measured and cut the thread of life.
Which brings me to the atmosphere present at training.
The spectators were quiet, the coaches were quiet and the players, new and old, were very quiet.
I must admit that my expectation had been to see them bubbling with enthusiasm, calling loudly for the ball, some banter and chiacking. But No!
It was described it to me like being in a classroom - -this was spot on.
Time and again players would be carefully positioned and a play run. Minimum physicality and the quietness of the players was due to CONCENTRATION.
The play would end, or be stopped and everyone would gather round for a post mortem discussion. This was subsidised by the coach taking individual players aside and explaining things further.
Scott was spinning, measuring and cutting the thread of life – the vital thread that links the players and the coaches to the game plan and beyond.
I don’t like Rutten’s “learnings”, but that is what today’s training was about – the game plan! (or hopefully “plans”.)
Thus, ALL the players were on the one oval, including the large rehab group standing together like a tumour which you hope is benign.
They too were students in theory, if not in practice, of the intensive coaching (we have lots of coaches) which will lead us on paths of glory to the Promised Land in September.
Wyrd session – not bad, but different.
Is there hope? Caddy took a nice mark today.
Perhaps that’s what you should take with you to your bedchamber tonight.