Training in warm conditions at Tullamarine.
This report is an amalgamation of many blitzers including Muriel St Bomber, Wallan Bomber 2,Karma Bomber and our old friends Sandbelt, Bender and Saladin.
Modified or absent Carlisle, Pears, Hocking, Dalgleish, Dempsey, Browne, Hams and Fantasia , O’Brien, Kommer, McKernan, Jerret, Cooney and at times Aylett.
Contrary to some who might think Dempsey was at Jenny Craig he has a leg injury which Mark Harvey says is not serious. Hams and Browne did lap after lap of running and at good pace. I would expect Hams to be ready soon and Browne a little later.
Last week I commented on the size of this group but a medical report from the club later in the week has put it into perspective so I won’t comment further.
Mark Harvey came and had a short chat to us and said that the players would “smashed” over the next few weeks as training ramped up. Before Christmas it was more about defensive running but now the much more competitive match simulation starts.
The most interesting comment he made was that we should “watch out for a kid called Langford.” (That took me back to a preseason practice match at VFL Park in the early eighties when the coach told me to “look out for a blonde kid called Harvey” so how the wheel has turned.)
The coach was the right about training ramping up and the practice match was lengthy and exhausting. Several players stood out. Naturally we kept an eye on Langford - initially a couple of his short passes dropped short getting to the recipient on the bounce but later he showed out very well with strong movement into the forward line and good ball use including a pin point fifty metre pass to Joe who converted.
Players were very vocal during the match play encouraging and giving instructions and the high level of professionalism was emphasized when Chapman said that the behaviour of a player who was not coming off when told to was “unacceptable”. However it was possibly taking criticism a bit too far when after a series of 400 metre runs following the match a trainer told the players who were exhausted not to put their hands behind their heads but to show “strong body language.”
Muriel St Bomber says that Bellchambers was moving very strongly and looked fit and mobile and presented very well before sustaining a slight injury towards the end. Colyer pulled up early with what looked like a slight hamstring but I wouldn’t be concerned at either of these tweaks.
We watched Kavanagh closely today (Saladin was with us after all) and he worked hard, was very involved and was more vocal than usual. Despite some fumbling he trained very well as did Zerret whose disposal and work in close is beautiful to watch.
Connor is coming along nicely and at one stage took a bounce before hitting Joe on the chest with a good pass. This was overshadowed by Edwards who raced through the centre and took three bounces before slotting it home for a goal. This is very encouraging although we noticed he was lagging a little in the 400’s that followed the match. When he builds a tank he could be anything.
Hurley trained well and looked very fit following his Colorado experience but did receive a whack behind the left ear during a marking contest. Saladin observed that if his hair was down instead of in a bun it might have acted as an air bag to soften the blow.
Looking good today if we can get them all on the track look forward to some good performances in a couple of months.