#5 Devon Smith - Best and Fairest (really)


I’m not overrating him. I don’t have a strong opinion either way.

But our season was gone at Rnd 8.

If Laverde was fit. Woosha would have been playing him.


Laverde is a lead/Mark medium forward who hasn’t shown much at ground level in the F50 nor has he shown much defensively either. I don’t think he is competing for Baguley’s spot.

His only spot in the forwardline would be in stringers spot as a 3rd tall/mid but I’d have Stewart and Brown ahead of him for the 3rd tall.

Luckily for him he has shown an ability through the midfield, which is where his AFL future lies imo. The coaches seem to have him playing up the ground and even behind the play recently too.

Begley is still an enigma to me in regards to his position, I don’t know whether he has the defensive ability of Baguley and he hasn’t shown as much through the middle yet to suggest he could be a legitimate AFL rotation, yet.

Both would be best served to play the first half dozen VFL games through the middle.

Anyway none of this matters as Mozzie is gonna rule the world


There’s nothing stopping Laverde from putting pressure on like Smith. If he discovers that and realises that’s the most important part in his role he’ll leave baguley for dead.


Except Laverde has the turning circle of an ocean liner.

Smith can change direction far easier so he’s not easily shaken.


… but not stirred.


Oh, Moneypenny, do behave!



ha wtf



Picked a wooden spooner? Just great - given Suns a bit of motivation for when they play the Bombers.


“My Essendon teammate Dylan Shiel”

– Dev Smith

Still gives me tingles in all the right places


It’s to early to start looking for positives.

Lets allow this Joey D situation to run its course first.


Just like everyone else with a player who filled out the same survey?


Smartest thing Riewoldt has said for a while.


Devon Smith (Essendon)

I think in terms of culturally what he did for that group last year down the stretch was enormous. The team defensively were almost shocked or inspired into action because of the way that he went about playing his game defensively, and culturally the way that can spread through a team that is the way you change the culture. What he does defensively makes him so important. We used to see Lenny Hayes do it and it would rub off on the group. It inspires your teammates and it becomes a reference point for your coaches.


Hirdy would have loved Smith in the side as he was trying to build his defensive game plan


Devon Smith reveals benefits Bombers felt after radical training session with ‘Ice Man’ Wim Hof


an hour ago

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He is the known around the world as the “Ice Man”.

He is the extreme athlete who owns a heap of world records for some of the globe’s most freakish human achievements.

Like running a marathon in the desert without a single drink of water and swimming the longest distance under ice.



This pre-season, the Essendon boys got an insight into the breathing techniques and cold therapy methods that have helped Wim Hof put mind over matter.

You might think anyone who is prepared to climb Mt Everest in nothing but shorts and shoes is a little crazy, but we were interested in learning more about his methods.

In a nutshell, Hof believes that exposing yourself to freezing cold temperatures and using a certain breathing technique can activate increased oxygen levels.

Wim Hof, commonly nicknamed “The Iceman”.

That, in chain, then delivers specific physical and mental health benefits, we were told.

It means more energy, better recovery and less stress, with some meditation weaved in there to help the process as well.

West Coast coach Adam Simpson said Jeremy McGovern tapped into Hof’s methods in Grand Final week last year as he overcame a nasty rib injury to play a starring role in the Eagles’ premiership.

Now, let me say this was right up my alley, because ice baths are a big part of my weekly recovery.

I have a bath tub out the back of my house that I jump in two or three times a week, on top of all the regular stuff at the club, to help recover after each game.

(I’m not kidding, it’s a real bath tub which I get filled with ice early in the week).

But, as we know, ice baths aren’t every AFL player’s cup of tea, and it’s fair to say there were some nervous boys when we got started with a push-up challenge to kick-off the Wim Hof masterclass one Saturday morning at Tullamarine over summer.

We began with the breathing technique, taking slow, short breaths in repeat cycles.

Unfortunately, one of the boys happened to pass wind about five minutes into it and the room erupted with laughter, meaning everyone had to start the process all over again.

Nevertheless, once we completed that, we had to hold our breath and see how many push-ups we could do.

Wim Hof visited the Bombers during the summer.

Devon Smith felt “amazing” during Hof’s session. Pic: Michael Klein

I thought I would tap-out at about 15 or something because I would need more air.

But I quickly got to 40 when I realised how amazing I felt. There was this rush of adrenaline and energy pumping through my body.

Some people report feeling a light-headedness because of the extra oxygen you can stimulate, and for a moment our skipper Dyson Heppell looked like he was going to pass out.

But we all got this buzz, or boost.

I looked around the room and nearly everyone was still powering through the push-ups as they held their breath.

Luke Ball, who’s on our football staff, hit about 70 when we said: ‘C’mon Luke, give us a spell, we get it strongman. You can stop and roll over now.”

Some of the staff who joined in also said they expected to do about 10 push-ups but were into the 20s and 30s.

When we stopped, we said we all felt the same elevated energy level. Everyone seemed to surprise themselves.

Then it was time to jump in the ice for the cold therapy.

There was a pool filled a huge amount of ice. We had to jump in up to about our necks and it was absolutely freezing. Painfully cold.

I was next to Michael Hurley and Darcy Parish among the first group of about eight or nine guys and the first 20 seconds or so were hell.

I was thinking I was going to get straight out and that there was no way I was going to last the two minutes we were meant to stay in for.

The Bombers enjoy a dip in the ice.

But we did the breathing technique again and after about one minute or so things changed dramatically.

I felt amazing again. Yes, I was numb. But I felt like I could have stayed in the ice for as long as I wanted.

David Myers was in there for about six minutes, just chilling up to his neck in ice, and had to be told to get out before he froze.

But we all felt the same exhilarating buzz again when we all got out and gathered to discuss the experience.

We had played an intra-club match the day before and, as has been the case for a few years, my knees were pretty sore.

It’s just standard stuff that I manage, really.

But that ache was gone. I could have played again, that day. I felt totally rejuvenated and fresh.

Now, pre-seasons can be a long hard and slog. But the Wim Hof session was a different, but enjoyable, way to learn about the benefits of the breathing technique and cold therapy, even though I know some players don’t believe in ice baths. I think Stevie Johnson, for example, hates them.

Devon Smith was a big fan of Wim Hof’s breathing session. Pic: Michael Klein

But the reality is playing AFL takes a huge toll on your body physically, especially when you are only 77kg like me.

I pride myself on the defensive pressure elements of the game. The chasing, tackling and harassing.

From Round 8 last season we were the No.1 pressure team in the league and we want to dial up that heat again this season. It’s the backbone of our gamestyle.

That pressure aspect is something that has always come naturally for me, especially ever since regional manager Michael Turner said in my days at the Geelong Falcons that it would be the thing that would help me stay involved in games and, ultimately, get drafted.

I had 23 tackles in a losing TAC Cup preliminary final. It was definitely a watershed moment.

When I was at Greater Western Sydney, I played mostly small forward or half-forward. You can spend chunks of games feeling out of the game in that position. I wanted to be involved in the middle.

The opportunity to play more midfield at Essendon was the main reason I joined the club. I wanted to be around the action more where I could apply more of the defensive pressure and then help the team capitalise offensively.

I remember the first time I met assistant coach Hayden Skipworth and James Kelly, they said they saw me as a midfielder.

A young Devon Smith in action for the Geelong Falcons.

It was a really honest conversation and they were blunt about the things I had to improve on, and train-up, to get my craft right.

But if I could do that, they said they saw me as a midfielder, which is where I played my footy with the Geelong Falcons and probably always saw myself playing at AFL level.

There was obviously a fair bit of talent at GWS when I was there, but the midfield time is something I have really enjoyed since coming across to the Bombers, but it has come with a lot of hard work.

Hopefully, we can get the four points against my old mates up at GWS to kickstart the season.

We focus a lot on Round 1, but the season is a long grind, and your body can take an absolute hammering in the clinches.

We feel we are well-prepared for the marathon ahead, and for me, I’ll be going through plenty of ice to keep the body feeling good.

Dylan Shiel is another who is a big fan of this sort of cold therapy and you’ll often see him digging into another bowl of his “bone broth” after another session in the ice.

As an athlete, Dylan is as dedicated as it gets.

His attention to detail and commitment to his recovery is incredible and it’s great to play alongside him again in the red and black.


What a legend


Must admit, I was triggered a tad when when I saw that we’d enlisted the help of another expert with a stupid nickname.


I’m a bit perplexed that we’ve just so blithely given up this IP / recovery methods. Seems it really worked according to Devz kneez.


Interesting character Wim Hoff - can push his body to extreme limits and so there must be something to his techniques. But I can’t do without the hot showers and so have given him a miss.


Breathing is an amazing thing and very underrated, no seriously, breathing oxygen is basically what gives us life, has been my inspiration to stop smoking, 2 weeks now.

Even today whilst driving down the coast I tried some breathing exercises, 5 seconds in, hold 5 seconds and breathe out for 5 seconds, I did this 4 or 5 times and felt so energised and enlightened.

I really feel bad for punishing my lungs for so many years now, sure we need food and water but the gift of life comes from the one thing that is around us, oxygen.

Wonder if WADA, ASADA will now put this on the banned list due to an increase in Essendon performance :rofl: