An ‘in-betweeny’ training session on this 17d morning. Mild breeze coming from …some direction. Wagtails still here.
Boys out at 1000 - Joey the first through the door.
Today’s drills lasted under an hour and were carried out in four rotational groups – two inside doing general clearance work, and two outside. The players in these groups largely remained as a unit throughout the session, moving from drill to drill.
The groups generally comprised of (TBell, Shiel, Guelfi, Saad, Jok, Zerk), (Joey - tapping only, Walla, Zaka, Laverde, Tall Blond Mystery Guy, Hooksey, Langers) also (Hepp, Pidge, Hurls, Tall Dark Mystery Guy (Emerson?), Harts, Stewart), (Mutch, Ham, Dlarke, Long, Jok, Zlarke).
Drill One outside group were practising clearances from either a ruck contest or a throw-in. In this drill, two players went for a tapped down or thrown in ball. One of them – the ‘receiver’ wearing a blue vest. A third player was the blocker and tried to hinder or stop the Blue-Vest. Jok looked very impressive in this drill. But to be honest – he looks impressive in every drill I’ve seen him partake in. There was a really nice moment when he grabbed Dlarke around the shoulders and gave him a hug, laughing. He fits in very nicely and looks very comfortable.
The second outside drill was a simulation of delivery into a scoring position from centre-wing (about 90m out) by foot, followed by one or two quick hand-passes, or, another short kick to find an optimum scoring position. It seemed to me that the focus here was to outnumber the opposition defenders 3-2, relying on very quick ball movement from the wing. It also stressed running patterns within the 50m arc and picking out the right option for the pass. This ties in perfectly with previous drills I’ve watched this pre-season, with simulation firstly from kick-outs, and then from HB ball movement. The three drills link together to form a complete passage of play. Laverde dominated in this as a forward in his group, as did Jok in his. Very interestingly – both Saad and Pidge were used as attacking pieces in this drill. Pidge delivered two consecutive exception laser-passes to the applause of the group.
Some interesting vignettes happening here. Today Saad’s drills consisted of clearance work, and attacking the goals – same as Pidge. Hurley worked mainly as inside mid against Hepp from tapouts. Heppell was very instructive throughout, guiding Hurley and Pidge and stopping play to show them a few things particularly in using body-weight to gain advantage and switching sides in a 1-on-1 muscling contest.
Drills outdoors ended before 11.00