Training Wednesday 21/12/16

Training in cool conditions with a southerly breeze at Tullamarine.

The players were put through an exhausting session today followed by a further hour in the gym after midday.

I will begin with the report on Daniher who spent the session in the hangar. Joe hasn’t joined the main training for weeks after being the life and soul of the forward line in the first part of the preseason. The fact that the club is very tight lipped about his situation seems to indicate that things might be serious and while we shouldn’t spoil our Christmas by worrying if he doesn’t join in after the break then there is serious cause for concern.

Toby Mutch jogged laps but Morgan who was running last week was back in training. The trio on the small oval was Watson, McKernan and Bellchambers. Big Tom is pretty upbeat saying he is “on track but I’m turning myself into a running machine.” While on the subject of ruck men Mark Jamar joined in some match practice and starred with his marking on the backline modestly quipping “I had to play otherwise Luey would be rucking against Bluey McKenna for the session.” The big Russian is a good man to have around the club.

Begley continues to be among the pick of the draftees, marking well and with surprising pace having got his weight down considerably since coming to the club. I’m guessing he’s about 95 kilos and might eventually fine down to about 90 without losing too much strength.

At the other end of the spectrum James Kelly is in sparkling form and seems to have actually picked up a bit of pace. His reading of the play, marking and decision making are superb. I also get the impression that Goddard is starting to hit his straps. Today he was on the end of a good chain of passes and kicked a nice goal. I imagine he paces himself a bit in the preseason to peak at the right time. Green joined in the main practice again today as his fitness improves and I was impressed with the strength of his hands in one mark that he took overhead on the lead with pressure from behind.

I can’t let the final training session pass without mention of Walla whose play has an almost magnetic attraction. It is rare to see such excitement amongst the spectators whenever he goes near the ball. Today he did some classic roving at the airport end picking the ball up, one touch, and goaling. Shortly after he goaled at the other end. As if this was not enough a whistle was blown to indicate the end of a drill and he had the ball on the boundary line about forty metres out on an acute angle kicking into the wind but he casually slotted the goal without even bothering to watch the result of his kick. Someone special here.

What needs to be worked on? I will note two things: the ball can be moved quicker and more directly if there was more running from behind to create overlap handball. I felt the balance at times was too heavily in favour of kicking in the breezy conditions. Secondly there was a problem at times which we are all familiar with from games - the forwards not pushing back hard enough into our forward line so that players bringing the ball out of the backline look up and have no forward target or a situation where the forwards are heavily out numbered.

The preseason has finished very strongly. The atmosphere is very, very positive and our list is looking very strong so go into Christmas feeling that 2017 will be a very good year indeed.

Thanks again jackie, great stuff.

Walla really is a special talent isn’t he? Even to the point of giving birth to a baby horse in between two great bits of play, and all the while being a male.

The kid really is amarezing.

Wish you ended with the Joe update. I couldn’t read the rest because of the tears. RIP Joe…you were a fine player.

Big thanks for your reports this year!

Tippa and McKenna are seriously exciting prospects in terms of kicking. A training I went to a couple weeks ago, everyone was struggling with the wind, kicks were missing or marked with difficulty. these two seemed to be the only ones to not only hit targets, but drill it into their chests with ease. So hope Conor is trailing Kelly like a duckling.

So… Walla for Brownlow?

Thanks Jackie. I agree with you about Joe - if there’s a still a problem in a month’s time then I’ll start to get worried. For now I’ll assume he has a groin strain or similar and they’re nursing him through it.

Loved reading about Begley and Walla. What a find Walla’s been, especially as he came to us for next to nothing. My sister, an occasional fan, came along to a game at the G last year and immediately nominated Walla her new favourite player after watching him for about 10 minutes. And my son got a birthday card “from” Walla last week and was rapt.

So... Walla for Brownlow?

Never in doubt!

Great report again Jackie, Do you know what Joe is doing in the Hanger or are you unable to see?

Thanks Jackie. I agree with you about Joe - if there's a still a problem in a month's time then I'll start to get worried. For now I'll assume he has a groin strain or similar and they're nursing him through it.

Loved reading about Begley and Walla. What a find Walla’s been, especially as he came to us for next to nothing. My sister, an occasional fan, came along to a game at the G last year and immediately nominated Walla her new favourite player after watching him for about 10 minutes. And my son got a birthday card “from” Walla last week and was rapt.

I disagree. Fkn panic.

Thanks Jackie. I agree with you about Joe - if there's a still a problem in a month's time then I'll start to get worried. For now I'll assume he has a groin strain or similar and they're nursing him through it.

Loved reading about Begley and Walla. What a find Walla’s been, especially as he came to us for next to nothing. My sister, an occasional fan, came along to a game at the G last year and immediately nominated Walla her new favourite player after watching him for about 10 minutes. And my son got a birthday card “from” Walla last week and was rapt.

I disagree. Fkn panic.

Feb 2017: “it was just a knock. We tried to manage it but it didn’t come up so he needs an operation and won’t be ready until round 14”

I have noticed that Daniher looks a fair bit bigger through the upper body, which would obviously involve putting on some weight… wondering if the lack of training could be as a result of this? trying to keep workloads down while his body adapts to carrying the extra weight?

Thanks again jackie, great stuff.

Walla really is a special talent isn’t he? Even to the point of giving birth to a baby horse in between two great bits of play, and all the while being a male.

???

Didn’t Joe have off season surgery on something? Could this be the reason he is being held back until the New Year?

Ohhhh Joe…

I still don’t understand why Draper, who is apparently uninjured, isn’t doing any of the training. Surely it is an opportunity to introduce him to the requirements, in terms of strength and positioning, where to go, patterns of play etc etc, at AFL level. I understand his program may be largely skill based and fitness/development based at the moment, but surely that needn’t be to the exclusion of match play experience.

Didn't Joe have off season surgery on something? Could this be the reason he is being held back until the New Year?

JD had an operation on a wrist after the season ended, IIRP.

If he is just running that would indicate it might not be load related or lower body. His wrist might be flaring up.

Im more worried about Jobe. Whys he on modified work?

My money is on OP. With this you can run fine in a straight line, but can’t change direction quickly nor kick. Seems to fit with Joe’s training.

My money is on OP. With this you can run fine in a straight line, but can't change direction quickly nor kick. Seems to fit with Joe's training.

What about a recovering quad or a hammy?