Training at Tullamarine in balmy conditions.
Your observers have moved from their position outside the ground where they have previously lined the fence like blowies on a windowsill, to an inside position along the fence on the wing much closer to the action.
If you come to training come and say hello.
As expected today’s 90 minute session was a lighter skills session with no match simulation due to the five day turnaround.
As always I try to assess the mood of the team and today it was unsurprisingly upbeat and confident. Players seemed to glide across the grass with an extra spring in their step closely observed by at least ten spectators and our old friend the Blue Wren with a look of romance in his eye.
Our spirits were considerably buoyed when a cheery Dyson completed the full training session and in his words looks “cherry ripe” for Thursday night to once more take the helm, probably at the expense of Redman, although he didn’t look to be particularly distressed today.
However the club is doing everything possible to ensure that our successful acting skipper, Zac Merrett, is retained at the club. When he appeared to have some mild tightness a beanie wearing masseuse was on hand to immediately administer a feather-light massage in the centre of the ground to the relief of all concerned.
Thoughts turned to the possibility of Phillips returning to the ruck, but the feeling was he needs a bit more match practice. However a strong performance from Zaharakis in the VFL practice match and a splendid training session today makes his inclusion a possibility as thus medical emergency at the expense of Cutler providing a gentle pathway into the side.
It was good to see Hurley doing a little gentle training today and even better to see the progress that Stewart is making - he is running very confidently at present. I won’t go into details of the modified group - with the short turnaround a number of players such as Hooker were basically given a very light session to recover.
The signs look good for Thursday night.
Thank you @jackie_mihocek for the write up!
Any word from the boys if they are flying up tomorrow or game day for the hit out?
Thanks for your insights, Jackie. Much appreciated.
Thank you. Stewart will make a huge difference to us as well.
Great to hear that Hurls is doing any work at all. I’ve no idea how we balance the side if/when he makes it back, but hopefully it is a problem we have to confront at some point.
zaha is going to provide an interesting test for the selection committee.
cutler getting a full game in the VFL seems obvious but who do you move to the sub role after the weekend.
Making zaha sub doesn’t make sense to me honestly, he needs to build his fitness so he should play in the vfl instead of being sub.
If they want to bring him in though, who moves to the sub role? Snelling?, Perkins? Waterman? Ham? cox? Would seem harsh on all them. Maybe one of those guys is a bit sore and it makes it easy for the selectors.
honestly if they make zaha fight his way in through the vfl it would be real evidence that we are doing things differently
was redman doing any training?
Good to have a report from you, @jackie_mihocek. The best thing is that Redman looked okay. Was he part of the main group or modified?
Yeah I think it’s play Zaka as a full AFL game or leave him to get another full VFL hit out in
As you say might be some sore players (although none of those were in mod group, was only light session though) this week or definitely end up with some having played the 2 games in short succession next week
Just view the sub as a typical emergency. Who would you drop from a 12 goal victory to bring in Zaka? Assuming Redman is covered by Heppell, the answer to me is no-one.
Zaka could be the sub, and if he gets limited minutes, let him play the VFL on the Friday night as well.
Sydney may well be the most inform side in the comp. Whether we get belted or otherwise, I want our kids exposed to it. Not cooling their jets so that Zaka can return. They’ll get worn out and need a break soon enough. But thats not yet. See how they all go against a similar group of kids.
Backing up off limited minutes to play VFL next day certainly could make sense. Assuming it’s allowed.
Has there been any games sub hasn’t been activated as yet? Seems like it’s happening regularly
I don’t want to see Zaharakis back in the senior team, unless it’s as the medical sub.
Rotate Zaharakis, Gleeson & Cutler as the sub every week. The other two can play VFL.
Perfect scheduling for the sub. Can get the vfl game if the sub isn’t used, or only plays a quarter. No downside from using Zacka in this role.
My initial thought is Smith, and have Zaka play that forward role. He’s better there IMO anyway.
Edit: no I’m not suggesting we drop Smith FFS
I can’t see who they could/should drop for Zaka
I’m very much in the camp of “Zaka is done” and I can’t see my opinion changing on this.
The only time i would bring in Zaka is if, Merrett and Hooker are injured in addition to those already injured. Purely from an experience POV.
Thats good news about stewart. Hope he can be ready for anzac day.
cutler. thought he ran around like a pelican and somehow managed to offer nothing defensively despite us being up 10 goals for most of his stint.
i reckon smith had a better game than many give him credit for. also finally starting to get his mojo back.