Training in drizzly conditions at Tullamarine with occasional lightning and thunder.
McKernan and Ambrose trained. Simpkin and Crowley trained together and are moving closer to fitness. Gach jogged slow laps.
While it’s not the last days of the Roman Empire training was fairly subdued today - I would describe it as pretty much another day at the office, not terrible but fairly pedestrian which doesn’t leave a lot to write about.
Mark Neald dropped into the cafe before the training started and quoted rule 4 “Know your role, play your role” which was his way of saying that he oversaw training from the shelter of the balcony on sunny days and felt no obligation to change this routine on wet days. All in good humour of course he is a bit of a man of the people.
Today I decided to concentrate on skill development and watched closely the “Herringbone drill” which I described last week as being like “Crossball”. Players stand in two lines about 15 metres apart next to a series of marker spears and move the ball zig zag down the line kicking off one step to their diagonally opposite partner. The idea is that each kick should be marked without the recipient having to move. Sometimes the degree of difficulty is increased by asking players to use their non preferred foot.
A way to measure the efficiency of the kickers (in this case ignoring if the recipient had to move to mark) is to count the number of exchanges before there is a bad kick or a dropped mark. I remember talking to Merv Keane about this some years ago and he told me that Geelong players would average nineteen without a miss when they were at their peak.
Here are some stats I took:
Group one 6,3,5,12,11,8,5,9
Group two 3,14,20,15, non preferred 15,7,3,1,7
Group three 3,26,5,11 non preferred 1,3,3,1,7,8
A lot of work needs to be done here to say the least. There was praise for well executed kicks but little said about blunders. Perhaps this is done indoors when training is reviewed.
It was pretty miserable outside so the unofficial coaching advisors spent some time discussing a range of topics some of which you might enjoy examining.
Kevin from the Collins Street Dons was reminiscing about life on the farm and brought up a custom I had not heard of before. Farms had their own petrol tanks and if someone from the city visited before they left they were encouraged to “fill up their tank.” How pleasantly Australian is that.
We then moved onto playing down at Geelong which in the day was considered “a trip” so much so that the bus would stop at Werribee and the players would walk down the Main Street to stretch their legs often feeling that they wouldn’t win because of the rigours of the journey undertaken.
Who was the person who looked the least likely to be a good footballer based on appearance - generally agreed to be Geoff Leek in the fifties/sixties and Ken Roberts in the seventies who at one stage led the VFL goal kicking (with many kicked of the ground or scrambled through).
Which players made the best debuts? No argument Colman with his twelve against Hawthorn. Two later players who played their best ever game on debut were Stephen Beaumont in the wet against Carlton And John Sommerville who kicked about five against North at the MCG.
Which suspended player will find it hardest to come back? We thought Bellchambers because he has missed so many games with injury before his suspension.
Hopefully lots to think about here on a cold rainy day as the season drags on to it’s strange and arguably optimistic conclusion.