Training at Tullamrine in mild, sunny conditions.
The day started well with a cheery wave from Disco in the car park having difficulty trying to suppress a Cheshire Cat type grin - a cat that knew it would soon be picking and then consuming the cream!
Things got even better when I stepped onto the oval and saw the Magnificent Seven treading the turf of the McCracken Oval for the first time for some time.
Bellchambers - the first with his top off.
Stants with Stants Junior in tow (I think we might be the family club now as the Hawks devour each other like superannuated vultures)
Howlett - tanned and lean.
Hurley with magnificent beard and Weimar Republic moustache.
Colyer - no moustache but just looking fast.
Hulking Hooker looking imperious.
Myers looking trim and threatening.
Then almost mascot like the whippet Marty Gleeson putting in an extra session with the seven.
Worsfold saunters onto the field with a casual “Hello boys, good to see ya.”" We’ve waited a long time for this moment and that’s exactly how it happened.
These boys look fit, very fit and you can sense the tightness of the group. Relaxed in the sunshine, glad to be back but with an obvious edge of determination. When they run repetitions around the boundary line they stay bunched - you could throw a blanket over first to last. When they have finished it is Gleeson who is the one spewing, these older players looking supremely fit.
Bellchambers runs laps with a trainer his giant body thumping the turf, a look of determination chasing away all images of the unfortunate Capri pants.
Stants runs and runs, sprints, laps then finishing with a run around the outside track which seems to me to be a direct challenge to Ambrose for the run around Princess Park and the bragging rights that go with the annual circumnavigation of the scum. Stants minor calls out to his dad who replies “I’ll be back in a minute” and sets off for a fast lap of the oval that is not far away from honouring his promise.
The players are “doing their own stuff” at the moment organising their own training as Worsfold and Harvey look on. Colyer looks up at Hooksey and says “Kick or run?” and the decision is made to kick, short passing then goal kicking. Stants has done the most running but it is Benny who does the most goal kicking working his way around the arc concentrating steadfastly.
What was the highlight? I must tell you that Tommy Bellchambers has invented a new, almost “moonwalking” move. The ground was slightly damp and he had to move a little sideways to take a mark. Instead of stepping he stayed upright and slid over the grass to mark in much the same way that you might stand up and slide in your socks on a polished floor.
Get on board it’s going to be a great ride.