Very windy, blustery morning – wind swirling around but mainly from the West.
Noted absentees: Fanta, Hooksey, Colyer, Francis, Zerret and Hurley.
Players came out at 10.00 in great humour. Lavendar ran ahead and drilled a ball at the goals on the run…missing everything by about 30m much to the amusement of the rest of the taunting group. Lavendar proceeded to the 2nd ground to do light running and ball work with Zerk, Redman and what looked to be Laverde – but that doesn’t seem right.
Players warmed up in the usual manner, frog marching, stretches, resistance drills, etc.
Dr Reid roamed around the ground, discussing things earnestly with Whoosha and Turk.
After 15mins of warm-up, most of the mids went back inside to do secret EFC training. The rest of the players split up into two groups of mixed forwards/defenders practicing leading/marking/patterns, and halfbacks playing a quick kick-to-kick routine. Forwards included Houlihan, Begley and Smack. Jamar provided grunt resistance to the marking forwards.
15mins later, mids re-emerged from the hanger and performed a few quick sprints. At one point as Stringer led, some player called out “J. Stringer – 3 Brownlow points”
Everyone formed into two teams for match practice. This was accomplished in two halves of 10 minutes, Green vs Red as in the intra-club match.
Some player-specific notes:
Langford trained almost exclusively as an inside mid. And he was caught wondering by Hepp.
Mynott Played in defence. Had a few touches. Looked comfortable during match sim.
Stringer, who dominated this practice match, has bleached his hair. Now it’s white with a man-bun. Attractive.
Guelfi really fits in. He is considered by the rest of the team – more so than you would expect with a newbie. He shanked a couple of kicks, but also showed class.
Heppell also dominated – really worked fantastically inside. He and Smith team up nicely, and it’s not the first time I’ve seen that.
Long played as a mid. Seemed a little laconic, but classy inside, and that’s where he always impresses me, not on a wing, strangely enough. Don’t be surprised to see him play the first JLT…
Saad & McKenna performed their usual power-running bursts and magic. Saad was breathtaking at one stage, weaving through a pack and out to a wing, then curving back in towards goal to deliver a ball to Luey by hand, who in return hand-balled to McKenna for an outside banana snap through the goal.
Hurley did not train, as mentioned above. My info is that he will likely not play on Saturday, though he looks ok.
Ridley played in defense, and later in midfield drills.
Gleeks stood out, as usual, intercept marking. He reads the ball extremely well. And yes, I love him.
Smith, as you would expect by now, was classy. Delivered a beautiful ball in to JoeDan from 75m out on the wing.
Mid-way through the two-half match sim, players split up into groups again for 20-odd minutes. Groups practiced forward entries and defence of. The idea was to receive a kick from a trainer outside 50m, and either convert, or release it safely back out to another trainer.
After match sim, 3 groups formed.
Forward/Def: Walla, Begs, Stewert, Green, Joedan & Jerret. These guys alternated between defending and attacking. Begs has a lovely kick.
Centre/ruck clearance: Hepp, Guelfi, Long, Draper, Clarke, Smith & TBell. Oh, and Jamar
Draper has a surprisingly high leap.
Clearance mids: Stringer, Zaka, Langers, Luey, Pidge & Parish. Stringer trained exclusively as a mid today, and inside at that. Mids were practicing clearance work from a delivered ground chaos-ball.
Brown ran laps while this happened.
Heppell was outstanding. He will have a fantastic year.
Walla worked as a mid half the session, the other half as a forward.
Pidge was as expected, in everything. Laid a great tackle on Hepp. Needs to work on his field kicking.
A fun drill followed these specific targeted drills. Three trainers including Crow & Skippy acted as leading forwards, while the players took turns delivering a ball to them as they were called out. Many laughs at the marking skills of the trainers – which was not bad at all, I reckon. Crow was close to being a good forward at some stage, I’d say. Hepp and Zaka excelled at this delivery drill.
While this was happening, Stewart was …practicing rucking with Jamar and Draper…
Can’t wait till Saturday.