Training Monday 2nd December
Training this morning in cold wet rainy conditions. You would have to be crazy to be out watching - I guess I meet those qualifications! Training started at 9.15 (which would appear to be the starting time this year) and finished around 11.30.
Modified group -Gleeson, Shiel, Zakka, Fanta, Redman, Ambrose, McKenna and Draper. Hurley, Guelfi and Mo22ie started with the main group but then moved over to the modified. This group was mostly doing running and some agility exercises but also did some ball movement like circle work.
Heppell was restricted to doing a mountain of cycling on the sidelines.
Merrett, Hooker and Daniher didn’t appear. Apparently Daniher has been doing a lot of rehab work inside in the gym, so we hope to see him soon. Stewart didn’t come out until all the other players had left and then did some running with a trainer.
The new boys, Jones, Bryan, Cahill, Hibberd and Johnson were doing their induction in the morning, but came out to watch towards the end of the session. Jones didn’t look as light as I expected, and Hibberd looks like a really good sized unit.
The main group again consisted of a lot of running, along with some ball movement work and some stoppage work. There hasn’t been a lot of tackling or physical man on man drills so far that I have seen.
Tippa for me was by far the standout in the ball movement drills, very clean, evasive and creative with his normal defensive efforts and a lot of hard running. At 26 years old with nearly 100 games to his credit I could easily see him taking the next step and becoming one of the best forwards in the game on a consistent basis.
McBride was also involved in a couple of nice moves, at once stage going for a bit of a run with a couple of good evasive moves. He looks particularly athletic, his main area to work on will be disposal, getting used to handballing with quick hands and a lot of work with his kicking. I think his technique is Ok he just has to get used to the oval ball.
I also watched McQuiilan for a while, he has a beautiful kicking technique, I haven’t seen him get too involved in the play yet though.
From what I have seen of Cutler so far he’s a great size, moves well and has reasonable pace, his hands haven’t been quite as good as would have liked though, hopefully that will improve as the pre season goes on.
Ham caught my eye at one stage as well with a beautiful pick up at pace followed by a nice shimmy and a well executed kick. He looks to be growing in confidence.
When they were doing lap towards the end it was very pleasing to see Franga right up near the front and looking very comfortable on several occasions. Hopefully that’s a sign of improving fitness. In contrast Stringer often tails off towards the back and always looks to be labouring, I’n fairly sure the laps are his least enjoyable part of training.
Not much else to report on at this stage, when they get into more specialised drills you can often pick up more. One thing that has been noticeable though has been the lack of people watching at training. Today was a pretty ordinary day but even on other days there has been hardly anyone there compared to previous years, there just doesn’t seem to be as much enthusiasm compared to recent times, probably because of the Joe saga and the finish to the year.