Overcast, slightly slippery conditions, slight breeze
2nd Oval: Lewie, Myers
Absent: Laverde, Ridley
Everyone else trained in some capacity.
Early Drills focussed on kicking to position:
4 groups rotating around the key areas all with a emphasis on the final kick to a dangerous spot under no pressure.
Move into a 20min match simulation which maybe gave some idea of what the side may look like.
Mid: Watson, Hep, Zerrett Smack, Goddard, Zaka
Fwd: Colyer, Daniher, Raz, Green, Hooksy, Tippa (Stewart the rotation)
Back: Bags, Hartley, McGrath, Stants, Hurley, Gleeson (went off), Kelly
Rest in red inc. Bellchambers who is just a question of whether he’s done the full match play kms.
If Blue are our starters then let’s go with the red team who generally smashed them in general play. Howlett, Parish, Hocking, Langford and Bird more than matched it. Goddard paid Long no respect who went on to have 3 shots on goal. Our fowards musnt like Irishmen as McKenna ran off and did what he liked, maybe it’s never mind Hurls will be there to stop it!!!
My concern is here and something I felt during the preseason once we lose the ball our mids aren’t capable of defending the space. Too slow- maybe, pushed too far forward as part of new attacking mindset- maybe…but it’s hurting & maybe why we saw Colyer, Tippa go through the middle at times.
Positive note is clearly depth. Fact we can have probables v possibles and it’s no way a one sided is only a good thing.
Couple of Individuals:
McGrath: Winning the lose ball and getting out of trouble, Classy. Kicking under pressure not so classy (yet). I think they will pick him
Francis: with Parish we knew we got good players, but didn’t know they will be match winning players. Love his presence and how big he looks on the lead (you can’t not kick it to him) then combine that with a midfielders ability to deal with the ground ball and ye ha…He plays foward for my liking and real soon.
J.Merrett: wouldn’t be surprised if he gets a game. Why, we need his speed down back and has worked hard on his one on ones, even if turned around has closing speed to apply pressure. One to keep watch on.
Parish: Mentioned above- week after week he just impresses with his animalistic (if that’s a word) work rate. His pre season has been outstanding for a kid that’s maybe still 19.
Mckenna: I’m a big fan based on his pure ability to run and kick with precision. Kelly and Stanton will hold up his progress and I really hope they find a dozen or more games for him. There is no reason he can’t be a genuine weapon.
Overall it’s feels like it’s still about finding balance down back and through the midfield, funnily enough our foward structure looks to make the most sense.
My team but who knows:
Baguley, Hartley, McGrath
Stanton, Hurley, Dea
Goddard, Watson, Zaharakis
Colyer, Daniher, Raz
Tippa, Hooker, Green
Smack, Zerrett, Hep
Kelly/Ambrose, Stewart/Belly, Langford, Parish
10 blokes stiff…
Apologies for long winded ness…little excited.