Before I melt as a result of the rays from the Melbourne sun, I figured I'd jot down my notes of this morning's training session.
A relatively small crowd today (not completely suprising) with many seeking shelter under the trees around the ground. An occasional breeze travels through the air to the delight of those in attendance.
Firstly the rehab group consisted of OMac, Petracca, T.Smith, Hunt, Melksham, Stretch, Harmes, Oliver and Brayshaw, Baker and VDB. Drills were non contact (aside from Melksham who did some work with a marking bag) while each player would take their turn in participating in what looked to be some menacing running drills. Players looked absolutely spent after these.
Petracca, Oliver, Baker and one of the new lads (Nietschke, I think) left early after spending most of the session running in the rehab group. None seem in any real discomfort aside from that of the Melbourne sun.
Moving on to the main group, where the first drill I watched featuted players transitioning from the backline with a couple of spontaneous sets of 20 push ups which looked particularly grueling given today's conditions. Weideman with a nice couple of dead eye [censored] 30 metre passes. Frost also with a nice spin around two players and a short chip pass to Spargo. Lewis was another who nailed some neat kicks while Hibberd uncharacteristicly shanked a couple. Petty was also involved quite a bit as the link man between defense and forward.
Moving to some forward play where a group of five would attempt to move the ball from half forward to a player having a clear shot at goal while contending with three defenders. Those I saw in this drill were Lewis, Maynard, Keilty, Frost, Spargo, Fritsch and Petty (I think). Lewis continued to set the standard with a some sharp pick ups and shots for goal.
Nice bit of play with Spargo with a thread the needle handpass through three defenders to Keilty who passed the ball onto the running Maynard who slotted the goal.
The next drill I watched involved players attempting to nail some 30m passes while under pressure from opposition. Players seemed a little sloppy at first but quickly tightened up their kicking. The Wagner of the Josh variety didn't miss a pass while Salem also looked exceptionally classy. I also really liked the look of Petty here. Looks a good kick and has a bit of toe for someonr of his size.
The final drill I caught before leaving was more of a match simulation. ANB was often leading from the forward 50 with Weideman as the key target. Great piece of running on the wing by Jeffy to receive the ball but unfortunately miss the shot at goal. Exceptional piece of play from Spargo with a brilliant smother, gather and handball to a loose player! Smith also looked at home playing the intercept defender role. Another brilliant moment came courtesy of JKH, with an intercept in the forward 50 and a cracking hip and shoulder.
No Jones, Gawn, TMac, May, KK, Preuss, or many of the new draftees who I think are in the NT at the moment.