Training report - Thursday 4 March 2021

Training this morning in cool conditions with a gentle breeze. The session started at 11am and went for a little under 2 hours.

The modified group consisted of:

  • Draper who completed about half the session with the modified group before joining the main group for some drills, match sim and centre clearance work opposed to Bryan.
  • Zaharakis - did some circle work with the modifed group, some running but also joined in some drills with the main group for I think the first time this year.
  • Perkins - it looked like he was just being managed, mainly some running on the second oval
  • Mo22ie joined the modified group early for some handball drills
  • Jones - similar to Draper, about 50/50 modified and main group. His right leg was bandaged but he was showing no real signs of the leg complaint. He was also out doing goalkicking practice on Tuesday so should be right to go for Saturday if they want to give him another run, but of course may be rested as a precaution
  • Stringer - did the warm up then went back inside before coming out and doing some running. Time is running out for him for round 1, they probably have about 5 sessions left I would think he’d want to complete at least 2 or 3 of them to be considered.
  • Redman, was on the sidelines again but didn’t train with his calf complaint.
  • Ambrose, did the warm up and a little running
  • Eyre, did the warm up, some circle work and a little running. It looks like he was just managed like Perkins
  • Phillps, the warm up only, he’s missed a few sessions now.
  • Clarke, did the warm up and also some kicking for the first time since injured
  • McBride, on the sidelines in a moonboot
  • Hurley, again on the sidelines on crutches, he seemed in a more jovial mood, was smiling and having some jokes with trainers and players on the sidelines.

Shiel who previously had looked sore completed the whole session without a problem, as did Gleeson, Laverde, Hooker, Zerk, Johnson, Snelling and Hird who all had been recently in the modified group. Caldwell also completed the whole session after having his ankle looked at on Monday.

The session for the main group consisted of lots of kicking and ball movement drills, some match sim, and quite a bit of keepings off handball, which they haven’t done so much of this year.

Overall I thought session was fairly sharp, maybe aided by the fact that it was a bit shorter in length than most other main sessions of recent times.

I paid a bit more attention to Waterman today, he looked understandably a bit more upbeat than previously. One of my concerns initially when he started training was I thought he was carrying a few extra kilos, but even in the short time he has been with us I think he has trimmed up to a reasonable degree. I was therefore also a bit concerned about his tank, but I can’t really think of a time when he’s fallen behind the rest of the group when running, so I imagine that will be fine as well.

One thing that wasn’t evident from his time in the practice match on the weekend was his defensive pressure, which overall I think has been very good. He’s chased hard, laid some crunching tackles and also consistently contributed with goal assists. Really it’s been hard to fault his effort since he’s arrived, and with another solid showing on Saturday he should debut in round 1.

I know I’ve already talked quite a lot about Cox previously, but it’s hard not to notice him when training. They’re not trying to make him into something he’s not, he plays like a midfielder, pure and simple which is hard to believe for someone his size. A couple of things he did today I was just shaking my head at, easily collecting contested ground balls and dodging and weaving his way out of trouble. And then added to that is his elite running where he continually leaves others in his wake with 80 - 100 runs at a very good pace. His handball and linking up work is also excellent, he just needs to get more consistency with his kicking. It’s hard to see him also not debuting in round 1 at this stage.

Bryan I thought was competing quite well against Draper in ruck contests. Draper still has a clear advantage when the ball hits the ground and is much more imposing around the ground, but Bryan seems to be coming on well.

I had a bit of a look at Johnson as well, who has also integrated into the main group in the last week or so. He’s quite a neat kick but otherwise I haven’t seen a great deal so far to think he will take the place of other small forwards, but as he’s just working back from his knee injury so still a bit early to make amy definitive judgements.

Overall it was a good hitout with no noticeably new injury concerns, it will be very interesting to see how the cope with Geelong.


Thanks Nackers, it’s like being there which is great for us interstate fans. Really appreciate your efforts and reports.


Thanks mate, love your work. Very exciting to hear about those little glimpses you see from Nik Cox - hopefully he gets a round one debut.

I’m also quietly rapt that Heppell seems to be backing up from training, games, etc without any issues - feels like it’s been a very long time since we could say that.

I assume that Jones, Hooker and Wright all played forward again in the match sim, with Laverde and Cahill still being used in defence?


Thanks Nackers. Do you know if McGrath trained?

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And for those of us overseas. Thanks Nackers


Yes he did the full session without any problems.


A 200cm mid

Holy fck


Latest thoughts on Hird Nackers?
Thanks. Great write up

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Beat me to posting the below. One of @karmabomber’s pics on Instagram.


Yes Heppell seems fine now, hopefully he’s over all his problems. Unlike some others here I like the idea of him off a back flank, I think he will be a steadying influence and play a similar role to what Hodge did later in his career.

I can’t recall Hooker, but all the others played the same positions.


I can’t see it yet.

He’s got a good tank and pretty good pace but I think he’ll need at least a year in the VFL to bring his game to the required level. At this stage he doesn’t have a standout attribute to make him dangerous, particularly for someone his size.

But he seems to have a great attitude and work ethic, and that can get you a long way.


Thunderbirds are go… again.
Thanks nackers for your sterling service.

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Will Cox play on Saturday?

I would think so

Cox in the middle wow maybe one day! He would be a great screen for Caldwell lol

Thanks nackers

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Thanks for the report, Nackers! Especially after a long day at work.

What’s the go with Reid? Will he play on the weekend? (I don’t think he played in the scratch match but may have missed that).

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I wouldn’t have thought so, he looks very talented and could be the best of all of them but I think he will start in the VFL.

Those comments about Waterman are great to hear. I had concern that he was an offensive only type player, without the tank to do the defensive work.

If Stringer doesn’t make round 1, what’s your gut feel for our forward setup? Does Waterman get close or is the fairytale more a mirage?

Thank you!

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I think providing he doesn’t have a shocker against Geelong he’ll play, even if Stringer gets up

A 7 man forward line of Wright, Jones, Stringer, Tippa, Smith, Waterman and Perkins has a bit of potential potency about it, as well as being quite strong in the air.

It could well take a little while for them to gel though.