Training this morning on an overcast morning.
All were sighted on the track except McBride and Heppell. Gown came out later to retrieve balls from behind the goal, could well have been doing rehab work. Daniher and Draper were on the rehab oval and were later joined by Hooker.
Today was mainly skills, with a smattering of match-sim. The boys actually looked quite sharp this morning, skills looked very good. Movement of the ball looks far more productive and organised. I guess you could call it ‘purposeful’. Laverde again looked dangerous up forward and attacked the ball well, ideally he clunks a few more of the pack marks he attempts. Liked the role of Townsend at a hit up target on the wing, a couple of really strong contested marks.
Handballing drill with defenders in confined spaces. This drill was done really well, blend of good quick hands and good pressure. Townsend was really good with a couple of clever taps and underground handpasses
Good to see young Hird (in the #49) on the track today. A couple of really nice handpasses in traffic, and looks like he has reasonable pace. Only did probably half an hour of skills, and then some running on the second oval. Obviously, he’ll need some good gym sessions, but he looked reasonably comfortable out there. Still a bit worried about him in a contact game.
Stewart involved in pretty much all of today’s session, and looked quite good. Some really clever forward craft up the other end, and looked to be moving well. Stayed on after training to do some extra running - at a reasonable pace. Looks likely to be ready soon, will hopefully come through the VFL in the next couple of weeks.
Hooker did some of the skills session, but came off to have some work on his back, then went onto the second oval. Not sure what to make of this.
Daniher was still doing straight line running, seemed to cover a fair bit of ground. He told me his recovery is ‘going well’. He had a kickabout with Draper and Hooker on the second oval, but my attention was on the main oval. Draper still appears to be progressing well, was doing some set shots from 15m out in front (one near missed his foot).
They were trialling another young ruckman today (not Teakle, so I’d say that means he won’t be the last list spot). He didn’t show anything that would cry out at recruiters/coaches. I’m spitballing here, but I don’t think the club are sold yet on Lockyer. Today’s session wasn’t great for Lockyer. Was misjudging the flight of the ball a fair bit in the air when doing specky practice.
Walla kicked a couple of beautiful goals from the pocket with drop-punts. He then kicked a ball which accidentally hit a young girl in the face (a glancing blow, she’s fine). McQuillan inspected and diagnosed ‘tough as old balls’. Walla then came over for an autograph and photos. Gent.
I’m more optimistic about us than I was a few weeks ago. Things are looking an awful lot better, not only in this pre-season, but even last year. I’m no expert, and I’m not sold yet, but I like what I see.