Training Notes: 19 December 2018
Training began slightly earlier than usual today, on a morning which started a little chilly and progressed to warm and then muggy. Today’s session was one of the more gruelling and unforgiving training sessions I’ve seen for a long time. Eleni Glouftsis warmed up running laps, and then umpired during training.
A small group performing a modified program on Oval #2 consisted of Fanta (who did join the main group for certain drills), Saad, Parish, Brown, Begs, Stringer & Oirish.
After general warm-up, 2 groups on the main field performed hard running – not your usual sprint/jog stuff, but pushing themselves. This went on for a while, and then drills began. The main areas of focus in drills today was passing/scoring under pressure directly after exertion, attacking patterns and set-ups from throw ins, contested clearances, running the ball fast and accurately to a scoring position. In fact, this has been a pattern this pre-season, and I think we will see progress in the fluidity of our quick ball-movement season coming.
Groups began rotating through drills, one of which was weaving at pace through a series of staggered poles, ending up parallel to the goal posts, receiving a ground ball and snapping at goal.
Simultaneously, another drill was kick-ins from centre-wing, with an attacking vs defending group to goal. Long figured mainly in defensive drills. Francis was doing great and is so athletic, till something I may have missed happened. I just saw him kick the boundary fence and swear. Hurls asked him a few times “you alright mate?” Didn’t hear the mumbled reply, but didn’t see Franga after that. Not sure what this was all about. Mozzie is a terrific tackler.
In the meantime, Jok, Belly & Drapes were running.
On Oval #2, the smaller group were running (timed), drilling sprints/marks/passes and goal kicking. Oirish was singing Chandelier – badly. Brown mentioned that he was a bit sore. Fanta was using his injured hand in marking. Begs had a blister on his left heel. Stringer & Oirish ran mainly laps – 12km worth. Mynott joined in with running, and had targets to reach.
An intense and scored drill on the main oval commenced – ruck or throw-in clearance (Belly vs Drapes) with the aim of getting off a marked kick. Losing team did push-ups.
A nice little moment when Hurls jogged past from the 2nd oval, saw a divot on the ground, picked up the sod, and replaced it, pressing it down firmly and caringly. Hurls is a great guy.
Fast-paced intense drill, using a ‘switch’ pattern, the ball swinging around between 5 points which formed an area roughly 50m in diameter. Imagine 2 players at each point, with the receiving player giving off the pass to the adjacent point, then sprinting to the opposite point to defend. This was as gruelling as they come – almost like a souped-up beep test. There was vomiting. Houlahan marked well though later dropped a few. Trainer called out “Everyone getting tired? Good! Beautiful!”
Merret has the nickname ‘Judah’.
Group of 6 players rotating through another intense drill: a series of 5 markers forming a straight line, roughly 10m apart. Player 1 runs down the line, while player 2 receives a rolled ball from a trainer. Player 1 yells out to 2 and cuts away at 90d from the marker line, calling where to land the ball. I saw this as a simulation of a break away in a clearance. Pidge’s kicking has improved greatly, to my eye. Focus on timing, leading, kicking, and talking.
Today, I’ve been impressed with Chook – such a hard worker, always vocal, teaching, humorous and a leader. For some reason known only to him, he was marking everything one-handed most of the time. I think it was just an internal game he was playing. He kept giving Longy a hard time about work rate. Langers – has developed a ‘presence’ – size and confidence. Laverde – Size (he’s a tank) determination, attitude and overall game play. Myers – His leading and field passing was exceptional. And Guelfi – really stepping up as a mid.
After a 20min break, 6 tall defenders (Hooksey, Ambo, Harts, Hurls, Dea & Lavender) went to Oval #2 and did hard running between 3 points, in pairs. Lavender trailed severely in this, and after training had concluded, was left doing slow laps. Hurls’ left thumb was bandaged quite heavily. On Oval #1 meanwhile, something that looked like a 60m Beep Test was going on – which Mutch won over Rids.
After another break, Match Sim started with most involved, swinging between wing/center/wing and using the entire field length. Rucks were Zlarke & Drapes. Guelfi played mid on Dlarke – and these two often seem to match up on each other. Mozzie and Hepp were excellent here, with Mozzie getting a round of applause at one stage, for following up 3 times and tacking his man down. Jok is a weapon. Out-marks his opponent 90% of the time. Can out-run most. Very good kick. Gets used a lot on the wing and is picked out as a target often. Ham did some nice work in this sim.
Kobe has adopted ‘Buddah’ as a nick.
On the sidelines, the modified and Rehab groups were alternatively boxing, using the rope, cycling, etc. Redman did what he could while seated and in a moon boot. Gleeks and Oirish got into some argy-bargy with a towel vs those snakey flotation thingies. Gleeks also did a lot of cycling. Jok spent a while practising picking up ground balls and kicking.
Training went for 3 hours, and ended with a cheer.