Training in calm, sunny conditions at Tullamarine.
Leuenberger and McKernan absent, Gwilt and Redman ran laps and Cooney didn’t join in although he seems to be moving a bit quicker with his running. Goddard trained today and moved well.
I was critical of some aspects of training on Friday but today I thought the players trained well and with improved disposal. Trying to have an understanding of the atmosphere is quite difficult this year but I will try to summarise what I have deduced so far:
The players fall into three groups;
the core of returning players.
the new recruits, and there are a large number of these about eleven or twelve new faces.
the experienced top up players who are still trickling in.
Without the experience and leadership of the suspended players there is understandably somewhat of a leadership vacuum (not a criticism) and it is taking time for these three groups to meld into a cohesive unit. E.g. If you tried to name your best 22 you would probably find it more difficult than in previous years because the pecking order is less clearly defined especially in deciding the relative position of the top up players.
The appointment of Goddard and Baguley will help with this and as the players train together the cohesion will improve but I suspect only up to a point. In my opinion the group will not gel properly until they have played a number of games together.
Kommer was quite impressive today going flat out as a leading small forward in a drill where it was one forward against two defenders or two forwards against four defenders. You would have enjoyed seeing Kommer and Tippa pairing as the small forwards and applying great defensive pressure on their opponents.
Ambrose is impressing with his fitness although apparently he didn’t go in the triathlon. This event was won by Zaharakis with Crowlpey a credible second although the swimming leg was cancelled due to the water quality at Williamstown.
There was a new ruckman trying out today Sam Michael from Brisbane who is an imposing figure. Sam did quite well although he was rucking against the inexperienced Gach. I haven’t seen Joe rucking at training his whole attention being given to forward work. joe is very competitive and was quite vocal today in urging his team mates to greater efforts.
Stokes, Kelly and Crowley were among the impressive top ups.
All in all a pretty good workout in a fairly long session.