Ben Doolan and myself got down to training this morning and watched a spirited and enthusiastic training session.
Bags, ■■■■, Hibbs, Trav, Hocking and Bird sat on the side lines and did various bits an pieces. Cooney looks bigger in the upper body and limped around a few laps but it was great to see Trav running the boundary. I quizzed him about how long til he is in full training and he said “After Christmas mate. Just easing back into it”.
During warm up Hepps partnered with TIPPA! Which was great to watch. After warm ups Francis and Morgan ran 200 Hundreds and 400 Hundreds instead of participating in the main drill. After finishing 4 x 400 Francis was bent over and the fitness guys came over and said “Stand up, it’s all about body language”. As mentioned Francis is a beast. His legs are bigger than Jobes. And to compare he eclipses Myers in height and across the shoulders.
The squad split up into 3 groups. Backs (red), Forward (yellow) and Mids (grey away tops.)
Forwards notable inclusions were Hooker, TIPPA, Dempsey and Kommsy.
Backs had Stanton running around. Perhaps a new role?
Mids included Langford, Laverde, Parish and Hams.
Everything as last week happened in 15 minute blocks. The main drill was the same as last week. Moving the ball from one end to the other. When the other team touched it, it went back to the beginning. Whilst two teams were taking each other on the third team would be “resting” on the other oval doing smaller competitive drill.
Forwards had the ball first taking on the backs. They were great at moving the ball and there was one bit of play bursting through the middle where it went Long, Edwards, Dempsey to TIPPA! It was awesome. Long was super today. Super elusive and creative. He is actually taller than you think.
Joey wasn’t super clean above is head but he was angry today. During this drill he received the ball in the goal square and then kicked it 60 meters though and into the car park. After saying he was ‘shot’ last week, Kommsy was very lively and the kind of player that revs everyone else up and niggles opposition players.
If he can get anywhere near the 2012 form he will be hard to stop.
We looked over to the other oval and saw the setup on Loonyburger, Zerrett, Parish and Jobe practicing tap out and structures. I’m not sure about Ben Doolan but I was half mast. If anyone told me the injury struggles Loony has had I wouldn’t believe them. He is in ripping shape and moves so well for a big man.
Next up the defenders with the ball taking on the mids. They did really well. Marty Gleeson has bulked up a little bit. He’s not massive but he is looking more solid. His ball movement and precision helped the backs move the ball pretty easily. We thought Pears looked sharp but we were all just waiting until the mids got their turn and we could see Parish. Well it was worth the wait.
From half back he kicked 3x 40-50 meter passes that hit the target. One on the left and two on the right. Zerret also dominated this drill. These two together will dominate for years to come.
As mentioned spirits were high. Any talk that Tbell might be effected by Loony being pencilled in as the number one ruckman would be wrong. When the whistle blew for everyone to come in Tbell took off and sprinted in leading everyone to great cheers.
After the main drill they broke off into small groups again. For handball drills before one large ‘practice match style’ game to end it all. Long and Laverde had great presence during this drill. The first year players all watching on from the sidelines.
Most players are being managed. Hepps and BJ came off early to do laps as they have had international duties.
Really happy with how the group is looking and the spirit of the boys.
Ben Doolan will add more once his Christmas shopping is done and I’m happy to answer any questions.