Training Thursday February 6th

This sounds identical to the drill i was watching last week, only you described it much better and with a lot more detail.

Interesting, that it is a keen focus, and it is now a confirmed pattern on a Thursday. Get down there to see it live and in all it’s glory for yourselves people. :grin:

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Thanks for a great report, much appreciated!

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They trained today for a little over 2 hours, starting about 9 and finishing just after 11 in pleasant conditions, one of the rare days at Tullamarine where there was very little wind.

Modified group of Heppell, Stewart, Daniher, Hooker, Johnson and Draper. All were kicking the ball which is a step up for Heppell, Daniher and Draper.

Tippa did some slow laps before training with Joe and then went back in, no idea if there is a problem or not.

Hibberd also came out for a short while at the start of the session, apparently he is about 2 weeks away.

Smith, Gown and Bellchambers (who didn’t train Monday as well) also didn’t train.

Hooker left a little earlier than others and looked to me to be in a little discomfort at times, I hope everything is well with him.

McQuillan also left a little early, he looked to be hobbling a little bit.

All eyes obviously were on Daniher, he moved fairly well with no obvious signs of discomfort. I was surprised to see him kicking the ball already, with most players when they first come onto the ground for rehab it’s strictly limited to straight line running, but he was kicking perfectly well as well as some small lateral movements. He had a kicking session of probably 30 minutes with Heppell and Draper. Maybe the news is better than we thought from Ireland and he is a little more advanced?

Draper is also progressing well, he said he’s looking towards the end of April or early May to return.

Something that I found interesting in the rehab group was a little chat between Johnson and Hooker. They were on the boundary practicing their snaps at goal and Johnson was instructing Hooker about how he went about it, adjusting Hookers grip and approach slightly. Both of them then kicked straight through the middle, I just found it unusual to see the first year player showing the veteran.

Both Lockyer and Ireland also trained today. Lockyer looks better every time I see him. He’s a very smooth mover and was much more relaxed with this kicking today, along with taking a couple of nice grabs in the drills. Ireland also moves well for a big guy and has a nice kicking action, although he dropped one or 2 marks he should have taken, but he may have also been a little nervous. Apparently he was fairly close to being taken in the draft by couple of clubs so it will be interesting to see which way we go. Personally I would prefer Lockyer at this stage.

Todays main session was broken up into some full ground match simulation along with various set plays in different groups, working mainly on delivery into the forward line and transition from deep in defense. There wasn’t as much running today.

With the defensive transition they were mostly using a short kick to the pocket, but following up with players running past to move the ball quickly rather than stop and prop. This was working very effectively with a number of players providing options and resulted in not only faster ball movement but leading to a number of different options being created further down the ground.

The forward drill had all the forwards very deep, with the forwards looking to create a loose man with multiple leads and blocks, and the defenders working as a group often switching opponents to block a loose player. Overall I thought both groups did well at various times which I suppose is all you can hope for.

The match sim seemed to have a much higher emphasis on faster ball movement, with a lot of the play going around the flanks, amd there was often an encouragement from the coaches to keep the ball moving.

As mentioned by others McKenna played a lot of the time as a deep forward, and also trained with the forwards group in other drills, although he did switch back to half back again towards the end. Stringer played predominantly as a forward and again did particulalrly well, and Fanta seemed to be playing much higher up the ground, more in a wing position. Townsend again trained and played with the forwards and again did some very promising things.

Of some individual players:

Bryan again showed himself to be very adept on the ground on a few occasions. At one stage he and Merrett were racing for a ball towards the goal square and he used a nice little nudge to out body Merrett and collect the ball neatly off the ground. I know taller players seem to get pidgeon holed towards the ruck but I think he may well develop into a very useful tall defender, with the height of some of the forwards these days he could be very handy.

Mo22ie seemed to be getting a bit more involved in the play today which was good to see, he’s very much an excitement machine when he has it.

Parish did very well also, he seems to be working on hitting and exiting a pack at pace which is when he is at his most dangerous.

Ridley is doing well also as a defender, often getting a late fist to the ball, and then using his sublime foot skills when he gets it. He seems to be a lot stronger in the contest this year which was a weakness in the past.

Cahill again was promising. There isn’t really any individual trait of his that stands out, he’s solid in most areas, but most importantly he keeps on getting the ball.

McBride has sharpened his skills up considerably since he first arrived, he is no doubt putting a lot of effort into it. At the end of training he was practicing throwing the ball in front of him then running onto it, picking up and spearing a kick to a coach, who was giving him constant feedback. More often than not he executed these very well.


I’ll second that, it was a great report. It was a pity we didn’t get to catch up, maybe next time.


I find it impossible to be lid on with some of these reports, thanks everyone, truly appreciated.


Huge thanks to @Mr_Sunbury_1, @serious_joe & @nackers. We are so lucky on Blitz to get such detailed & informative reports… just like being there.
Great to hear that Hooker is willing to take advice from Johnson. Says heaps about the quality individual that he is. I’m sure Johnson’s has plenty of good tips from his old man to pass on.
Love the sound of the forward training drill.
Hope Smith & Walla are ok.
Big hopes for the Irish boys - love the idea of McKenna swinging forward.
Lots to look forward to - plenty of guys showing promise.
Lid off!


Is defending being improved on?

If the defending was improved you’d worry about the attack improving.
And vice versa.
Chill till we stop playing with ourselves.

Double entendre intended.


I wonder why Johnson isn’t in the leadership group?



Love what I’m hearing about how we are moving the ball no doubt Cara has been a big influence also liking what Dan is doing with the fwd line

I want us to have the best defence and attack in the league


Exactly. And you never really know how well either is going until you come up against an opposition club that doesn’t know exactly what you’re trying to do.


The affro?


My main question is are we going in with a more fwd type press.

■■■■ me to need the amount of times we win the ball at half back only to have the ball rebound quickly because our fwd line applied fck all pressure when the ball hit the deck.

Nicholls giving frees against us until the early morn.

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Free kick Hawthorn


He did go a bit faster than that, but most players when they first go to the rehab group don’t push themselves too much.


Thanks for the reports . Buncha legends.

If it please the gods, let this be a good year. My 16yo son doesn’t know what it is to have a dominant Bomber team to support. And when we do become great again I have a hit list of people I’m going to personally door knock and give it to.


Good on you.

What sort of kicking was Joey doing? Obviously no roosts from 65 out - was it more than dinky 10 metre kick-to-kick stuff or a bit more genuine?

A lot of that stems from good ball movement and not exposing yourself on turnover. Keep it locked it your forward half and you don’t get scored against. Use it better out of your back half and you don’t get scored against.