Training Saturday 14/3/20

I went along to training this morning in fairly cold windy conditions, there were about 8 others there watching. The gates were open and the car park for a change only half full.

The players came out not long after 9.30, everything was fine until about 10.30 when Woosha came over to our group and said the official policy was now no one allowed inside the precinct, but we could watch from the other side of the fence next to Melrose Drive which a few of us proceeded to do. The policy has probably been updated even from yesterday when fans were allowed to watch from the sidelines.

Outside the ground is actually not too bad and probably closer to the playing field than a lot of seats at Docklands or the MCG.

Today there was no sign of Heppell, Hooker, Zerk or Smack. Ambrose was watching from the sidelines in a full knee brace, along with Johnson and Gown who was out of his moon boot.

I got there quite early and Stringer was out running and kicking with the new fitness coach Sean Murphy for at least 45 minutes before the rest of the players came out, and then went inside and didn’t do the main session. He seemed to moving and running well so I’m not sure what was going on there. Murphy actually has some quite decent ball skills. He was quite comfortable drilling 35-40m passes accuratley and marked all Stringers kicks with ease, very unusual for a trainer. Stringer has now had a few unusual weeks, there must be some doubt on him for round 1.

Stewart and Bellchambers completed the whole session without any problems, both looked fine and just about ready to go.

It was great to see Draper back with the main group with full movement, he completed probably half the session before going to the rehab oval for more fitness work. Crauford did about the same as Draper, and joined him on the second oval for some running or kicking. I watched Crauford for a while and he looked to be going OK. I’m still a bit surprised by the decision considering his playing background but he didn’t look out of place today.

The only other player doing modified work was Cahill who looked like he had some sort of a leg issue. Daniher came out a bit later and ran a lot of laps at about 3/4 pace with very little break. He would have been running for at least 45 minutes, maybe an hour.

Young Hird completed the whole session and looked very comfortable, I don’t think he is at all overawed. He still has a bit of work to do with his kicking, but I’m sure that will come with more practice. There was one particular piece of play where a ball bounced high above his head and he leapt and took it incredibly cleanly with his left hand which it looked like he really had no right to do. A couple of us watching looked at each other and said ‘did you see that’. It might not sound like much but it’s these litlle things that you see sometimes that makes you think there might be something special about a player, making the extremely difficult seem simple.

I still remember a piece of play his father did out on a flank of the MCG either before or just after he was a regular. He took this very difficult half volley on a lead at full pace and then turned on a dime past his opponent and then passed to a forward. I thought to myself at the time there is no one else in the club he could do that, and it was a definite sign of things to come.

While this wasn’t anywhere near as good as that it was one of the type of things I look for in a potential player.

Later in the session the players went to the second oval and split into 2 groups and had short game of soccer, and naturally Hird again was magical with his feet compared to the other players, although McKenna was also very good. I wouldn’t be surprised if this little piece of training was designed to help Hird integrate into the group, showing the other players his skills at something he excells at and making him more comfortable and accepted within the group.

McKenna trained mostly with the forwards today, but also started behind the play in some of the match sims. A couple of his passes to deep inside the forward line were fantastic, particularly in the windy conditions.

There wasn’t too much match sim, most of the session was broken into shorter ball movement drills and overall I thought the players were looking pretty sharp and ready for the start of the season, lets just hope it goes ahead.


Great Report! Massive thanks for your efforts :slightly_smiling_face: like the sound of young Tom Hird!


Only the coronavirus can stop us winning the premiership.


Or might it help us.

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Sensational report, @nackers!

You say there’s a doubt about Hird’s kicking but later praise his foot skills. Is the doubt simply about the strength of his kicks?

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Brilliant report but I want to re-read these bits a few times. Just love reading about Hirdy Jr, his dad and a Daniher.


Thanks @nackers. Appreciate and admire your dedication.


I drove past the ground about 3.15pm and Zerk was out on the main ground doing run throughs with one of the staff( couldn’t work out who it was)


Mc kenna fwd could be a master stroke, released from guarding an opponent could do huge dmg running free


@woosha be like get out and
@nackers be like


Great report @nackers - appreciated! Love to hear that Hird jnr is fitting in well. Absolutely love hearing that our trainer is out there and able to be actively involved at a level that must command respect from the players. :crossed_fingers:Jakey can play round One -BZT also. Wish we could be there… (sigh).


The great foot skills were playing soccer, I’m sure he will turn out to be a good kick of the footy as well just needs a bit more practice to get back into the swing of things.

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Sorry. Didn’t read it closely enough. I bet he works on his kicking though

And it’s not as if his kicking is bad now, it’s just not a skill he has been working on of late with his interest in soccer. If his hand skills and general balance are anything to go by I’m he will get it to the point of being an asset in no time.

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thanks for making the effort to get there @nackers.

in hindsight lucky Tom Hird didn’t sign up to soccer as would have been trapped in europe.

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Thanks @nackers

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Thanks @nackers much appreciated as always. Did it seem to you that woosha’s got much of a future as a crowd controller?:crazy_face:

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Thanks for the report. Read every word. May be the last one we get for a while.

Is the dirty beer virus keeping people away from this thread???

Thanks @nackers :clap:t5::clap:t5:

Thanks for the report @nackers.
You said Hird wasn’t overawed. That’s not a surprise, but were any of the other players overawed to be training with a Hird?