Couldn’t see another thread covering today’s training, if there is one mods please merge/purge this one.
First time I’ve ever been to training for the Dons and the TVSC, and I don’t mind saying I was like a kid at Christmas. As I walked through the doors I saw two young kids who looked like they’d wagged school for the day, Mutch and Draper, the latter of which is a massive unit of a kid.
Warm and blustery conditions at the ground, with one fan noting it as “Windy Hill Mk 2”. Training was split between those listed as playing tomorrow, then those who won’t be playing had their own training session as the others went back to the shed. I’ll call them 1s and 2s, but it’s no reflection of what we will be looking at for round one given the 2s included big Joe Dan and Harts.
Hooker and Belcho went to Etihad for running drills, with Hooker doing heaps of running, and Bellchambers heading back inside after a solid but managed session of I’m guessing half an hour or so.
The 1s started training with normal warm ups (handballs, short kicks and some run throughs). They then separated into two drills, one involved what I saw as the midfielders (Jobe, Hepp, Zerrett, Luey, Myers, Smack, Colyer and a couple of others that slip my mind atm). This drill involved tap downs from the big men, and the mids zipping around their feet to work the ball out of the area with quick handballs. This drill was exciting for me as it just really hit me how much we missed the class of Jobe and Hepp, but also gave me hope for how good a fit and confident Myers and Smack could be as they both seemed to have a spring in their step. Zerrett of course was just a pleasure to watch.
The other group were involved in a drill which, as one fellow fan pointed out to me, seemed to be ‘inspired’ (maybe taken) from the Dogs. There was a trainer in the middle of a confined space between two lots of players on the 50 metre line toward the far side of the ground. Two to three blokes would come out and moved the ball up through weaving handballs, then to the trainer who would smash the ball toward the ground at the other group of players who would then again work the ball to the other side with weaving handballs, simulating getting out of congestion. Then at irregular intervals, the whistle would sound and the player would have to quickly shoot for goal. Walla was just magic, Green never misses, and it was great to see Stewart move around as he is a huge unit but has some serious agility!
As this set of drills ended, they moved into a corners drill, so four roughly even groups with the focus seemingly on voice and making the best option. Marty Gleeson was a standout with good voice, good pushing to position, good hands, and solid kicking. Obviously Jobe, Hepp, Zaka (zaharakis), Zerrett were all class, but again Stewart just impresses with his mits and reach. No, he’s not a fully fledged gun, but he will demand a defender when called upon and I think he will be a very handy backup option. McGrath was another one I watched here, and it just seemed to me that he does the drills solidly, but then he watches, he reads what’s happening and never looked lost out there. When people talk about what makes a good footy player, I think flashes of brilliance are nice, but the willingness to learn and to read and play to the strengths of your teammates just shows this bloke is switched on.
The groups then merged and while Redman went to run some laps on Etihad, others stayed around to kick some goals, and some blokes went back inside the shed.
Walla and Green threading them to the early morn from set shots and some snaps, while Raz, Stewart and Colyer were getting the trainers to tap the ball to their feet for the pick up and goal. Bobcat, Hocking, Jobe and Hepp also took the opportunity for set shot goal kicking. Hocking looks like he’s chomping at the bit to get out and play, Bobcat was kicking true, and it was awesome to see the class of Jobe. More than that though, the session was upbeat and there were plenty of laughs, plenty at Raz’s expense which I enjoyed hearing as a fan who plays local league footy as it just brought it back that even though these blokes are my heroes (unashamedly as a 30 year old), they are just blokes playing footy at the end of the day.
- Lav and Langford are units, looked very poised and ready for the season.
- Parish rolled through the session no dramas, and his quick hands were just great to watch
- BJ didn’t over exert himself, same for Pops Kelly, but they just ooze class.
- Dea looked sharp with his kicking, same with Hurley
- Bird, Brown, Ambrose all solid without standing out
- Jackson Merrett the “grey man” award
- Long looks noticeably bigger, really hope he can show some good form in the VFL and get a good run in the 1s during the season.
Thus ends part one of this epic tome. Sorry for the wall of text but I just love footy!