Training this morning in cool sunny conditions with a light breeze.
The players trained in groups of up to 8 starting on the main ground and moving over to the Dockland size ground when the next group came on. Most groups were probably only out there for around 40 minutes.
The only absentees were the 3 Irish guys, Saad, and Johnson.
The last group of 5 Were Heppell, Daniher, Gown, Jones and Bryan, who did less than everyone else, and didn’t transfer to the second oval. I’ve no idea if anything can be read into that, but at least Heppell looked considerably freer in his movements and was kicking comfortably off both feet.
Stringer was the only one that didn’t join in a group, he started off doing some laps with the head trainer and then did a few kicks and run throughs. He was the only one still on the ground when I left around midday.
The whole session though was very light without anyone really stretching out much. There were a few handball drills (which was also a bit interesting as it involved only forward handball with players running an overlapping pattern). There wasn’t even any longer licking and marking, it really looked like it was just a matter of getting the cobwebs out. I’m sure there will be a lot of testing later today to evaluate everyone’s condition.
A few observations on players:
- Stringer was really the only one that didn’t lool in very good condition, he looks a bit chunky. He may have some slight niggle as well which may explain the separate training.
- Tippa looks to have lost quite a bit of weight from all over his body, thighs, chest, biceps, shoulders, and waist. At first we weren’t quite sure whether it was him or Mo22ie.
- Mo22ie also looks to have lost some weight and was moving very smoothly.
- Draper was moving well and did everything the rest of his group did. I imagine he is right to go.
- Hooker was moving freely without any sign of discomfort.
- Ambrose was very solid in the upper body, even bigger than I remember, I think he’s been spending a lot of his recuperation on the weights and also looks ready to go.
- Laverde seems to have trimmed down a bit.
- Gown was showing no signs of his leg injury.
So all in all a much fitter group overall from a health perspective, we should be very close to a full list available for round 2.
I have heard the training will step up in tempo from tomorrow. While I’m sure the oval will be closed to the public from spectators it’s quite easy to view training from the footpath in Melrose drive.