Training Wed 11 January 2023

@Hawkeye_Pierce, @The_New_Coleman, @hotrodd, @Go_Team_2.0, @Clone_Hirdy - thanks for your outstanding reports


I got there at 10, they started at 9. Apparently almost everyone was on the track early, some including Jones, Stringer, Walla and Laverde were not on the track when I arrived.

Today was more of the same, defensive drills and fitness (shuttle runs and fartlek running to a whistle). It’s hard to tell much of the structure as it’s hard to define without an opposition. Thought the kicking skills were better today, ball movement was mainly around the boundary. One thing I noticed was the players were (at least trying), to kick the ball to the advatantage of their teammate. That might sound cliche (probably is), but there would be a target on the HFF, the player woudl work his opponent under the ball, and then use the space behind them to have more space to kcik into the forward line.
Defensively there was good intent, some of the spoiling was great. Montgomerie was eye catching with his spoiling and defensive marking. Certainly looks able to play senior football given the chance. Shiel, McGrath and Menzie all looked good in the match sim drills.

Saw a couple of little snippets of A. Davey, there’s something there. Classy little player, able to sidestep to find space like the really class players do. Obviously a way to go, but excited with waht he could become.

Pleasingly, only Reid wasn’t on the track. My first look at Munkara. Only did laps with J. Davey at modest pace, but a really nice size.

I still think Walla has a way to go, but he’s showing glimpses of his old self. The speed off the mark is there. Probably needs to build the endurance and the strength in his tackling, but really good signs. I’m still not sure he starts Round 1 yet, wait and see how he goes in pre-season matches.

Mass works so hard. Really pushes himself in the running, that kind of dedication is great to see in someone so young. I’d have him ahead of Hind so far.

Cox to me looks to be lacking a bit of confidence. There was moment in match sim where he dropped a mark, and may have needed a change of underwear. I’d suggest he’ll play a fair bit of VFL this year, which doesn’t worry me. Hopefully he recovers fully from his injury.

First look at Szybkowski, looks a hard worker. Not overly quick but clean with the ball in the contest. Seems to know where to run, and tidy disposal out of a contest.

I went to have a look at the HOF/Bomber shop, got back out around 12, there was a group of about 10 doing tackling practice lying on the ground (that’s not a euphamism). An American coach was loudly barking orders at them. I like it. Time for some toughening up.

It’s starting to look a little better. I think Friday is match sim, so might get a better look at things there.


Love your work, cheers!


Talent and athletic profile are remarkable, even his footy sense seems above average, but how down he looked last year was a worry. Looked a different personality from 21 to 22.
Hoping he has the fortitude to push through when things aren’t going his way.


Thanks for the great report Matt!

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Sometimes less is more!

I’m encouraged by the walk before you run focus we’re taking.

Gotta get the fundamentals in place if we are to become a competitive side.



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This doesn’t surprise me.

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I went Monday. Its a bit tough doing training reports so far as we are so much into skill and positional(defense and offense) development patterns. Lots of kicking drills as thats been a huge focus. Little handball. Very little full ground match type conditions. I will go Friday and hope we get to see that.

David King article/comments on SEN i found strange. It was like Essendon are so much more focused on defense this year. He went to one session and that was one drill that was some basic defensive ground work. I thought we did more defensive work last pre season to this point. Maybe communication and buy in is more the teaching now.

I still have my concerns and yet to really be inspired by the pre-season to date. Maybe teaching the fundamentals is just where we are at but that tells me how incompetent this club actually was and it will take time.

Sorry its not my normal optimistic self but its my honest thoughts right now. I think half of me is still annoyed how poor the players and staff represented the club last year and from here they have to show it in a more authentic way before i buy in.


Clearly the team wasn’t up to rutten’s complicated defensive plan so stripping it back might be far more efficient.

I’m sure Scott would’ve leaned on his brother regarding what does and doesn’t work with these new rules.


I know it’s hard to accept for us long suffering fans, however Scott has at every opportunity tried to condition us to not expect too much in 2023. He’s indicated we have a bumpy ride ahead. From the reports to date from preseason, it’s hard to realistically find reasons to believe he’s playing us on a break.

Game plan changes are in their infancy and we have a young list that has undergone significant change again. It’s a list that needs preseasons from a fitness and physical perspective as they’re starting behind the pack in this regard. My belief is that the Club is aligned to 2023 being a discovery and reset year where objective is to define game style, embed mechanics, define roles and positions, develop chemistry and accelerate development. Hopefully enough senior players have good years enabling a win or two more than last year.

Training reports indicate that planets are not aligning yet so I’m keeping my expectations in keeping with Brad Scott’s at this stage. Although hoping for a pleasant yet unexpected surprise.




Not saying it’ll happen but just saying, one more sh¡t year (bottom 4) and taking a good hand in a bumper draft before scaling up the ladder in 2024 as Scott’s philosophies and game plan seep in fully, mightn’t be the worst trajectory for our rebuild.

I know that’s bl00dy hard to stomach as supporters who haven’t seen any form of success in donkey’s years though. Patience, quite understandably, isn’t an easy sell to Bomber fans.


In all honesty, I would not be overly disappointed if we finished last this year, especially if young Reid continues his form from last year in the u18’s. He looks a generational talent.


That is really sad. I sincerely hope you’re mistaken and that we will finally see something to indicate that at last we are heading definitely upwards rather than bouncing around in the area of poor to mediocre. I have to say that Brad Scott, in all of the media work that I’ve seen from him since he arrived, has appeared completely honest and completely confident in himself, but equally has said nothing at all about working the players hard, substantially upping fitness and strength, or anything else indicative of positive change.

The best thing for us would be to finish bottom 4 this year.

Our list isn’t ready. Get as many games into the kids as possible.


That’s what Scott is inferring is a likely scenario… Without saying it in those words.

I’ve no issue with finishing low if it feels like we’re developing well. I quite enjoyed the actual games in 2016 as I had no expectations of victory and I thought the kids did pretty well. My concerns for 2023 would be:

  • Given we finished with 7 odd wins last year, even dysfunctional I don’t think we’ll finish lower this year, and could easily see us finishing higher with our crazy easy draw.
  • If that is the focus, then there should have been a more concerted effort to move on some of the older players at the last trade period.

in amongst that sort of 2023, you’d like to see signs of a game plan coming together, and better overall skills.

We can get beaten but not through dumb footy or poor execution.