Training Thursday 24th June 2021

Today was my first day back at the hanger since the last of the VFL practice matches and the place has changed a bit. The work on the new extension looks like it is just about complete, there are no construction vehicles, the new Bomber shop is open and the new Jack Jones Cafe looks like it will open any day.

I’m not sure if strictly speaking we are allowed inside the ground yet, but there was a group of about 10 -15 of us watching on from between the two grounds and no one was paying us much attention or asked us to leave so it all seems OK.

It was actually quite a pleasant day, very little breeze and not at all cold, I swear it was considerably colder watching on from behind the fence in January with a near constant gale blowing.

The best news is that Francis was back training with the main group. He completed nearly the whole session before going to the rooms a little earlier the the rest of the group.

Of the other players:

  • McGrath warmed up on the sidelines in a knee brace before going inside
  • Draper was out on the ground for the most part but didn’t train, I imagine he is just being rested after his huge effort and first game back in Tassie.
  • Caldwell did the warmup on the sidelines before going on to do various running drills on the main oval
  • Shiel and Hurley both also warmed up on the sidelines with some handball drills before going back inside. Hurley looks considerably better than the last time I saw him but I was surprised Shiel didn’t do more, I was thinking he was much further advanced.
  • Heppell also didn’t train, just encouraged from the sidelines
  • Dylan Clarke trained with the main group for the whole session so shouldn’t be too far off
  • Brand was largely restricted to running on the main oval
  • Kaine Baldwin joined in with the main group for what I was told by others there as the first time. He did probably about half the session before going to the main oval for some specialist work main on his marking with one of the coaches as well as some fitness work and some one on ones with some defenders. He was really struggling at times after repeat efforts, I think it will be at least a few weeks before his fitness is up to scratch.
  • Snelling completed the whole session with a thumb guard, he was wearing a different colour jumper than the rest to make sure he wasn’t inadvertently tackled.
  • Waterman was about 50/50 between the main group and running on the second oval. it probably means he won’t play in the seniors this weekend.

Other than that everyone else completed the whole session. I was surprised the session took place on the Docklands size oval considering the game is at the MCG this weekend. Not sure why.

I got my first look at Durham today and was quite impressed by what saw. He’s a very good size, neat skills both by hand and foot and looks very competitive. There was a loud roar in the huddle just before I got there which often is a result of someone being told of their debut, I wouldn’t be surprised if it was for Durham weekend.

There isn’t too much else to report on. The session went for a bit under 2 hours and was mostly some skills work, some full ground match practice ans some clearance work by the mids, of which Durham was included in.


wow abit of serendipity on this fine thursday arvo, cheers nackers mate always a good read!


Thanks for the report Caldwell is running and Baldwin joined main group is fantastic news.




Thanks nackers
Good news for Clarke, Baldwin and Caldwell.

Hopefully Draper and Heppell just resting

Shiel sounds further away than hoped, saw a rumour that he was a chance this week, sounds at least 2-3 weeks off still

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I’ve missed you @nackers (and your wonderful training reports)





I’d say they trained on the Docklands sized ground because of Melbourne’s zone they play, making the ground seem a lot smaller.


I think we can safely say he won’t okay this week, but other than anthing from today is just speculation.

He may be tracking beautifully but was just a bit sore and rested, or he could have been doing cross training in the rooms, who knows.


FFS play a legit second ruck FFS.


Do you think Baldwin will play any VFL games before the end of the season??

Training reports eh?

So that’s what they feel like……


Seems relevant to the Shiel discussion.


I think he’ll be ready to play and fit enough in a few weeks. I’d play him, we’ll just have to see what the club wants to do.




Well there you go, I should have spent more time on here keeping up to date rather than writing training reports :blush:


thanks @nackers for the report.

Just curious how the training compared to the preseason stuff.

I know season proper and preseason are different beasts, but were there any noticeable differences in skill levels/ball handling/cohesiveness amongst the players etc etc?

Did they look like a better/improved playing group to what you spied earlier this year.



How many free kicks did Devon Smith give away?


all of the free kicks

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None. The umpires we invited to the session were too busy being served caviar and champagne by Hawthorn players to pay any attention.