Okay, spent some time at the club this morning in the Bomber Shop. Asked one of the ladies who worked for the club what time training was on and was told 1100 so thought qtr past 10 now, will hang around and watch. Started chatting to the bloke from the cafe about visiting overseas countries and at about qtr past 11the lovely lady comes up and says that the boys aren’t training until 3pm and she feels bad about misleading me and would I like a tour. Do rats desert sinking ships? Got taken into the Hangar and watched the boys training, doing some ball handling skill type sessions. Got a photo with Kyle Langford. Overheard Heppell talking about Trav Colyers moonboot and sure he said it is on for another week but didn’t seem in the least concerned by it. Not often I feel short but Leunberger succeeded. Belly was lineball in height with me (a touch taller). Got to say hello to Hooker and told him why I had a particular interest in him. He remembered his old weights coach at East Freo with a bit of a smile and added that he was the one that really got him started seriously. Awesome setup and made my day.
Went back this afternoon and watched the drills. This is the second worst training report ever.
Started with some agility type drills, utilising two rows of cones place a little distance apart in parralel on the ground and alternating between left and right leg to mimic change of direction in a game. Some of the boys (looking at you Hepps) played it up and exaggerated the movements quite a lot.
The next drill was centred around passing to the leading player, with the receiver running out and executing a bit of a hook turn to receive the ball. The players were divided into backs centres and mids but also into green and red tops.
At various times, Orazio and Dyson were both singled out in front of goal with a single trainer. Orazio was leading and taking marks/possession then turning to take the shot on goal, while Dyson was being delivered a ground ball which he picked up and returned multiple times prior to then having a shot on goal.
Hooker, Brown, Mynott and one other were on Etihad for a while, but I believe they all joined in with the others later. The only non starters I can remember noticing were Trav with his moon boot and no Francis.
The next lot of exercises centred around contested hand balls within a confined area with opposing teams. The object was to score a goal by hand passing between two poles set up as goals. Tackling, probably without too much intent, was permitted and encouraged. I must say that Mutch and Clarke stood out for me, as did Parish. While this was happening the talls were in a group doing some hit out practice. During all this, Connor walked passed and appeared to throw up walking towards the Etihad oval, and then we heard later that he had thrown up again near The Hangar, so either a bit of a bug, or had really pushed himself in his first training run of the year.
After all this, the players moved into a simulated match play scenario, where they would throw the ball up and then go through with the play until one team or the other got clear possession. As soon as that happened, play stopped and was relocated to another part of the ground where they would go through the same process, be it a field ball up or a boundary throw in. One particular piece of play by The Package had smiles all round as he roved the tap, burst clear and drilled a goal from the boundary.
The final drill of the day was contested marking. Near us we had Joe, Hartley, Paddy, McGrath, Green, Mutch and Smith. While this was happening there was contested body work going on in other areas.
Lastly, when most of the players had retired indoors, Smith, Zaka, Langford, Zack and and Dyson were all having running shots at goal. They would run to receive the ball, gather, balance and shoot, left or right foot. Another group was doing similar down the other end but didn’t see who they were.
The standouts on the day for me were Begley, Mutch, Clarke, Langford and Smith. A couple of other guys that were there with me agreed that Smith won the day, and the only way he won’t be best 22 at the start of the season is if he is injured.