Training Thursday February 6th

Yeah Redman.


All great responses, but you’re all wrong. The obvious answer is Dustin Fletcher.


Training February 6th

My apologies in advance that this report won’t be in the same postcode as our esteemed Training Report brethren in Nackers, Jackie M or Deckham (apologies if I’ve missed others) but here goes.

I arrived approx 10am to see a resplendent McCracken Oval bathed in glorious morning sun.

Modified Group on the Marvel Oval:

Draper (who’s really stepping up his running, can’t be far off a return)



Stewart (who’s looking magnificent)

Didn’t see Hooker, Bellchambers or Joe. They might’ve gone inside before I got there.

Match Sim

I caught the tail end of this as I arrived late. I’m not sure how many sessions and how long they were in duration but they were already training as I arrived and continued approx 5 mins before they took a quick break and finished off with about a 15-20 minute session. The parts I saw of the match sim were more intense than I was expecting. Having seen a few of these sessions in years past, I’ve felt they lacked any real intensity or physicality but this one certainly had some of that. Having observed today, the players seem to have a noticeably strong, lean core. I was particularly impressed by Draper and Stewart training on the Marvel oval, they’re both big strong lads. Both have bigger shoulders and upper arms as well as really defined quads, a theme across the majority of the list to be fair. Those who were prominent in the match sim whilst I was there were Shiel, Stringer, McGrath, Parish and Phillips in particular although I didn’t see Bellchambers and Phillips was opposed to Bryan. I’m still concerned by the kick ins, the long Hurley kick to the 45* is still a thing evidently. Although I did notice a more conscious effort by the players to exit the defensive area wider, often to flank/wing area before bringing the ball more central as we move forward which I think is smart. If a turnover occurs wide, it’s easier to defend one side of the ground as opposed to the kamikaze corridor game we played in years past where a turnover exposes the whole ground. The other benefit of moving it wide defensively is the greater chance for a stoppage and a reset. They only took on the corridor out of defence today if it was really on. If we continue this, it’ll greatly assist the defenders and help restrict opposition scores. The forward tackling was a feature and was prominent again in the drills mentioned below Cahill is really putting his hand up early it seems. Is training with an edge. Likewise Townsend.

After match sim they broke off into groups. Forwards and defenders went to Marvel end & mids and rucks to the middle to work on clearance strategy.

Forwards and defenders practice slow play entries with Redman & Begley used as distributors inside 50. The play would start at the whistle where those two would kick low passes (approx 20-25m apart) to each other around 60 out until a forward (yellow bib) would present something they liked, they’d get back off the mark quickly and try to hit the quick kick to a leading target around 30-35 m out. The defenders would set up a zone. If the forwards weren’t able to find space, the kick would hit a spot around 20m out on a 45* angle. Laverde twice took a contested mark in that situation and kicked 1.1 from the kick at goal. McKernan’s hands were especially sticky, often going up against Zerk AND Hurley. Redman’s kicking was sublime. Overall, the defenders were able to get the points here but the forwards had certain areas they needed to penetrate, sometimes not to get the ball themselves but to create space for a trailing forward to get into. Jordan was particular the way he wanted this to work.

The mids worked on stoppage craft under the watchful eye of Caracella and Kelly although Harvey drove the drill, striving for perfection. Twice he asked for Langford to switch on and on two separate occasions he urged Smith & Mutch “must hit that target” when they won a clean stoppage and kicked over the head of the leading forward. It seems there’s a massive focus on getting everything right in these drills. Love it! Merrett was hitting targets with regularity, Shiel quite good too although at one point he got too close and was urged to shoot which he missed to the left. Overall the drill worked quite well with the objective of the white team to pressure the yellow team into the error and vice versa if the clearance wasn’t clean. Cutler burst off the square a few times and received the handball and delivered nice passes twice but a horrendous turnover on the other.

End of the session was about goal kicking. Phillips took lots of shots. McBride worked tirelessly on kicking technique. He has an appetite for work. Townsend hit the post four consecutive times. Jones & Begley are beautiful set shots. Cahill also nice although anything beyond 45 seems to test him. Cutler is much bigger than I thought, is a similar height to Hurley which surprised me.

Can see why Shiel is now in the leadership group. He and parish were among the last to go inside, working on collecting the ball at pace, and having shots on the run from around 45m both got really dirty on themselves if they missed.

My overall impression is that there’s a focus on driving high standards, moreso than in past years which can only benefit us in the future. It’s still early February and I’ve been very much in the lid on camp but there were some very encouraging signs today and some positive changes to past impressions I’ve held at a similar time of year. For me, it’s all about how we approach the games now. I like the subtle changes so far. Let’s see how we execute against a real opponent.


Quote from the training report below:

“Forwards and defenders practice slow play entries with Redman & Begley used as distributors inside 50.” On the money

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Me too! It was more difficult to find a park at the hangar than it is at Chadstone during December


You will get a parking spot at Chaddie no problem at the moment.


Onya @Mr_Sunbury_1

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Thanks @Mr_Sunbury_1. Great report. You undersell your reporting skills.

So re Begley, was he training as a defender or a forward? I reckon it’s worth trying him in defence. I don’t see him getting a go forward this year.




No new injuries which is good.

I remember this time last year we were getting rumours of x y z going off during training with this or that.

Smith, Merrett, hooker to name a few

Yes I know we got those injuries in Jan this time but that’s better than feb IMO

Thanks mate. No underselling going on here. The others are much more adept than I.

Begley was forward in match sim and kicked a nice set shot goal from about 40 out to the airport end. His kicking in the drill with Redman was neat but grassed a few in front of the leading forward and didn’t get back off the mark once but he is a nice user IMO.


went past for a look myself today… I’m no expert and I think a pair of binoculars are in need if I ever head back out there again…

some things I did noticed however was Caracalla being right in the thick of it…conducting drills and calling shots…big focus on ball movement throughout the day too…

Parish to Mcgrath will be become a thing this year… they look ready to be full time midfielders to me…Linking up really well and covering a lot of ground…

Ham is a good mover and a good user of the ball… will turn into a best 22 player in time…

Harrison Jones is not a softie…Like the look of this kid a lot… young tall skinny kid…who will take time, and most importantly is not afraid to make a go of it… he even brought down Aaron Francis down to the ground from a front on tackle… I think Franga was a bit surprised by it…

and speaking of Francis… first off…I love this kid & I’m happy to see him running hard and covering a lot of ground without all the huffing and puffing that came along with it in the past…

and yes Joey is out there doing sets of 200 hundreds of may it be 3 hundreds? at a steady pace… Hooker the same…

Ridley has some nice moves…boy oh boy I hope he can come on…

jimmy Stewart doesn’t look far from it…

The fitness guy was everywhere… taking notes and talking to the players…good look…

all in all I think they are training & tracking well…


Thanks mate. Anything on Nigel?

Hence why I said in December :joy:


Nigel. Well, I’ve never laid eyes on him prior to today so difficult to make a judgment on the little bit I saw. I don’t see a concern with his conditioning at all. He wasn’t prominent in either the match sim or drills IMO, though I’m happy to be corrected by our more astute training watchers.


As it should be, and yes we need to see how it holds up against real opposition.

and thanks for the excellent report :+1::+1:

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Thanks mate - great report

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BD & WD, far too kind. I’m very much a reserves player with regards to training reports.

Because he’s done so much straight line running his groins will break down again once he changes driection.

Gotta go do some work, back later :v:

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