Training today in cool conditions with a medium wind. The surrounds were very wet after all the recent rain but the ground was in perfect condition.
Modified group was Bellchambers, Luey, McKenna, Daniher, Hooker, Heppell and Hurley. Fanta again didn’t train. They all moved quite freely so I wouldn’t think it will be too long before they are back into full training.
A lot of the training was based on defensive structures today simulating forward pressure, trying to put pressure on the defense moving the ball out of the backline. There was a great emphasis on talk between the players to guard space and rotate between opponents to provide as little room as possible. I don’t know if it was a replacement of the some of the slower players on the list with quicker players such as Saad or they are just improving at the this part of the game as a group, but I thought most of the efforts were outstanding. I don’t know if I was looking through rose coloured glasses but the play seemed significantly faster as well, particularly closing down space.
It was my first chance to see a lot of the younger first year players today and I particularly liked the look of Guelfi. He moved very well, had sure hands, a nice mark and very several accurate kicks. I wouldn’t be at all surprised if he gets some games this year.
All the first year players later went into their own group for some specialised tackling and evasion drills. It was interesting to hear the coach with a big emphasis on lots of small steps to enable sudden changes of direction. Again I though Guelfi stood out here both in tackling and evading.
I’ll hopefully have some pics to post later and am happy to answer any questions people may have.
No I didn’t notice any clearance work at all for the whole session. Most of the work seemed to be about one group transitioning from defence with the other group putting on forward pressure. Stringer later went to work with a group of players where the main focus was on leading patterns and again defenders rotating between players and cutting down space. One of the things that was very noticeable throughout was the constant movement of players in contrast to the sometimes stagnant play we had last year.
Thanks Knackers for the report. I was watching Guelfi’s video highlights yesterday with a mate and we both reckon this kid could make a claim for a bunch of senior games this year. Has poise and a slight air or arrogance about him, maybe Devon Smith style cockiness. I LIKE!
[Side issue: it still seems a bit strange that they have decided to hang the premiership flags in that environment. Not sure if it looks a bit tacky on the exposed metal walls, or whether it doesn’t look good for the material itself. Possibly they are replicas anyway. I don’t know. Anyone?]