I thought someone else would write a report so this will be fairly brief.
Training in sunny autumn conditions at Tullamarine.
Absent - Hurley who took a heavy knock to the head against Carlton.
The mood was quite upbeat for the main training session of the week with the players having moved on from the Carlton defeat. The emphasis was on inside and outside ball movement with a mainly skill oriented session.
Our desire for a strong list with pressure for positions was evident today with strong performances from Dea, Howlett, McKernan and Stewart hoping to catch the eye of the selectors for Sunday’s squad.
However the standout performance was Francis who was going full bore. Brown got possession of the ball with his back to the boundary line on the small oval and Francis with an eye bulging glare brought him to ground with great ferocity - a bit more than we normally see between team mates at training since the days of Kommer. Later on the main oval he leapt and grabbed the ball and twisted in a violent 180 degree spin dishing off the ball as he hit the ground.
With a languishing Langford he could very well be up for a game before his home state crowd.
McKernan is quick for a big man and is playing with confidence. He is a real competitor rather than a technician and I can’t help but think we could have used his grunt against Carlton.
Draper is coming along nicely and was receiving coaching from Mark Jamar who is good on the body on body contests but some of us think he could learn a lot from Simon Madden as he doesn’t just drop the ball at his feet or hit it straight forward but is prepared to make last second adjustments by turning his hand to change the direction of the knock. This is something you might like to look for in the VFL game against Sandringham.
High on the second balcony level a pensive Dodoro stood in the shadows of the doorway surveying the scene below missing no detail of the play then a moment later when you looked again he was gone.
It’s a bubbling cauldron at the moment and hard to predict what will happen against Adelaide but I expect a far superior effort than last Sunday - possibly with a rampant, red headed Francis staking his place in the team.
Thanks Jackie. If that isnt a Francis BHI report, I dont know what is. We probably need that sort of motivation from at least some players going to Adelaide. Francis is a beast and now he can run out games it augurs well !
Draper didnt play in the VFL praccy match last weekend, but I was impressed with his game against Footscray, and he can mark / kick goals as well.
Dodoro was really happy after the VFL praccy match last week and was joking around with the VFL coaches… all smiles and deservedly so…
I caught the train into the game on Sunday with a mate. There was Sam Draper, on his own, getting onto the same carriage as us at Strathmore station. Refreshing to see there are still AFL players who take the train!!
Drapers athleticism and mobility is superior to most ruckmen of his height/build. If he can improve his ruck craft and be a dangerous forward threat, then we have a good prospect (well done Jackets & team on this selection)
Definitely not the only one. Having attended all of the VFL practice games I was really impressed by Sam. He moves around the ground well and looks like a decent prospect. Really looking forward to watching him develop.