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  1. I posted this else where but thought it deserved it’s own topic Well boys, we knew this day was coming a long time ago and we've come to terms with it. Truth is Dec was a bit over football anyway, to be putting in all that blood, sweat and tears to not be playing regular senior footy isn't easy. That being said, the family and I will be forever grateful to the Melbourne Football Club for giving Dec the chance to live out his life long dream, and he got that chance on a sunny afternoon at the MCG. Not only that, but they won a close game, and himself having an impact on that result (his centre clearance for those who remember) He and us will never forget it. To everyone at Demonland, since I first started posting here 5 years ago when Dec started playing some decent footy at Casey, thank you for all your kind words. I have had a great time being able to share this experience with super passionate supporters which are sometimes hard to find. I have sincerely enjoyed the conversations and experiences I've had over the years and I'll be sure to pop back in ever now and again as I now and will always bleed Red and Blue. Dec's career wasn't the most glamorous by any stretch but only a very small percentage of people who ever play our beloved game get to say they played in the AFL. Cheers everyone, and have a drink on me!
  2. In light of the Tom Boyd story i think its sad what he's going through and i wish him nothing but all the best in his recovery and a peaceful mind. I read an article on Boyd yesterday saying how he's copped it since being drafted as a number 1 draft pick. I was taken back a bit because everyone has forgotten one Jack Watts who's copped fat worse barrage of abuse from members of the public to big media personalities. Do they not remember the round 2 Essendon game in 2013 when he was booed by 50 thousand people when he was subbed off?? If it was one person who could have easily put his hand up in the air and said "I've had enough, see you later" its jack Watts. Yet every week he fronts up with a smile on his face and just goes about his business as usual. My respect for Jack Watts has now gone through the roof. I admire your resilience mate! You'll always be a MFC champion to me.
  3. Can't even discuss the actual game yet, only how the win felt. I was at the ground. I brought a ticket through Ticketmaster and some how ended up sitting in an Eagles reserved seating section. I literally could not see another Melbourne supporter. I was by myself. I cheered everything we did and got stared at, people whispered about me, one woman asked her husband if they could move away. I wasn't badly behaved. I was just passionate. Because those Eagles supporters they don't understand - I fell in love with this footy club in 1987. I was sitting with my old man on the half forward flank when Jimmy ran over the mark and Buckenara kicked the goal in the Prelim. I've sat through horrible horrible performances - multiple 100 point floggings at the G (just 4 years ago). I'd do it all again for that win, and the effort and energy we showed to drag ourselves over the line in that last quarter. When Tommy Mac kicked the last goal I went bananas. And then when the siren went I went absolutely ballistic. You know those sad people at sporting events going nuts who you think 'calm down mate, maybe you need more going on in your life'? - that was me! Im pretty sure I looked like the slow mo of Stevie J when he kicked the sealer a couple of weeks back - but in real time. It was ugly. I don't care. That was an absolute delight. I love this footy club, and I love that I at least have a place on the internet to share something like this with people who get it. Go The Dees. I believe.
  4. No training wasn't cancelled Not there King, Trengove, Bail - everybody else made an appearance of some sort Hunt came, looked around and left after discussion with fitness staff Neal Bullen back on the track, did a bit of running, he is feeling really good Brayshaw is the latest poor sod to be struck with gastro, tried to train, he could laugh about it though Vince, White, Watts, Howe (lifted his running speed again), Fitzy (on a deload day) and Garlo (with a bit of back tightness) all in rehab, Ball movement/offensive drills again for most of the session, did a bit of running at the end, seemed to be an adlib it, Roos had to leave, so assume the last drill was cancelled and running substituted, lots of players stayed on after 'official' session was over doing bits and pieces, last off just for a change Cross, McKenze, Grimes, Vandenberg and Pedersen who seems to have joined their group Petracca is certainly putting his hand up, stand out today along with Matt Jones (again), Kent, Hogan, Lumumba and Grimes Any questons again feel free
  5. I’m going to take one for the team here, I don’t do a lot of in depth reporting normally because my time is precious (and I don’t have really fast typing skills). Having said that; I may end up rambling a bit as I enjoy a Merlot at the keyboard. I live in Ballarat but I was house sitting in Emerald for a couple of days and finished up this morning. I had to pick up some stock for our business on the way home (in Moorabbin). I thought I would swing by and see what I could see. (All they could do was ask me to leave) I got there around 1000 (I seriously wish I had got there at 0900). While checking out the parking situation I could see Crossy on another oval putting Hannan and someone else (I couldn’t make out in the distance) through their paces at a serious fast clip. They were running up and down the field handballing to each other. 1hr 30mins later they were still at it. For other track watchers, Hannan can’t be that far away now can he? I just walked in and proceeded around to the side opposite the grandstand. There was a full ground match sim going on Pinks vs Blues and the scores were up on the electronic boards 2.6 to 4.2 as I walked around, the player I noticed the most was Smith. He seemed to be everywhere in defence. There was a family standing outside the fence observing proceedings so I went up and said G’day. Turned out to be the parents and siblings of Tye Hourigan who had been invited along to train today. The family and Tye had no idea that would include 2 x 30 mins full ground sim! Ty is from Traralgon and has been playing defence for Gippy Power. He looks a likely type about 6’2 in the old and around 80kgs. From hips and down looks like a ready-made footballer. Soon after the sim stopped and they moved into a number of drills for the different groups (mids/rucks, fwds and backs that have been largely described before. This was all done at a great pace and with good skill. After about a half hour of this it was back into 30min full ground match sim. Max got on top of Pruess early resulting in a number of centre clearances. One of the early ones ended up with Petty on a great lead and I walked around to stand directly behind him. The wind was blowing around 40km/hr across from right to left and I was muttering aim at the right point post. Standing behind him he looked to be aiming 2m inside the right goal post. It was a lovely kick off the boot and in the last 6m of its flight it went hard left by 5m. This was the only real negative I saw for the day and both teams went on to score around 4.2 so the adjustment to the windy conditions largely improved. In the match sim I could count 4 Casey listed players. Stockdale clearly being one and a couple of others I didn’t recognize. I know that can’t be right and there must have been more but I couldn’t spot them. Having said that it is the most First’s I’ve seen playing in sims, at this intensity, in January EVER After the match sim they went into more position related drills again. I moved around more to a the pocket /half back position on the grandstand side. There were a couple of tackle coaches I haven’t seen before working with all the talls; Max, Preuss, Jackson , Lever, Weid, TMac, Hore, etc . They were working in a 10m circle and the object was to escape with the ball. This went on for 20min and I was exhausted just watching them. To the left of me Goody was controlling a drill where 4 or 5 players would be in a small circle doing quick handballs. When he blew the whistle the last player with the ball had to break away and run and kick the ball 40 m to Greg Stafford. The remaining players would run both sides of the ball carrier in support. Stafford would punch/ tap the ball in the path of the “wave” and they would share the ball around till a leading forward presented or one of the wave was close enough to shoot for goal. Both Tomlinson and Spargo participated in this drill so I would expect them both to be very close to rejoining everything. They didn’t do match sim. Unsighted on the day: Baker, KK, Melksham, Neitzke, Bennell and Chandler. May was there but I didn’t see him do much, however the dressing was missing from the leg (happy face, mine and his) Some general obs. Our older brigade are up and about, Nev is back and handing out lessons to anyone he comes near. Hibby is not handing over his role this year if he stays fit (although Rivers did impress me and looks ready to go if a spot presents). Tmac is also back, leading well, finding space and clunking marks. Jones may surprise a few in the forward line. Lever was outstanding today in the cut off/ intercept role. Viney and AVB will take a lot of teams by surprise if they stay this fit (yes, AVB did everything today including swapping bibs at one stage to even things up). Sparrow was good in the guts at times. To go to another level this year: Max, Clary and Trac (that should put the wind up a few teams). OMac looks to have bulked up and be quicker, is that possible? Jackson was willing but not that effective in the match sim I saw today. The practice matches will be interesting and I can see a difficult decision coming re Cossie. Is the magic he brings enough to play him even if he goes missing sometimes due to fitness? On today’s observations I would play him round one. He will make a lot of defenders nervous and he will have that reputation very quickly. Nibbler however is giving every indication that he wants a spot in that forward line. I’m excited!!! (In a BBO kind of way) They finished around 1215 today so it was a really solid session. I had a great time today and couldn’t get the smile off my face. I also noticed this with Goody and a number of the other coaches. A great way to lead into Maroochydore. Near the end of the session I got Tye Hourigan’s family to come inside the fence near the entry gates and while we were chatting a fella in his 20’s came in with his dog on a lead and asked if it was ok if he came in to have a look. He was wearing Richmond shorts so I told him very sternly, “It’s a closed session and you will have to leave” He was very apologetic and left. Made the day even more worthwhile.
  6. I just don’t understand why a Melbourne supporter would go so far out of their way to attempt to rain on our own parade with this first level rubbish.
  7. I am working with disadvantaged indigenous youth here in Alice Springs and had sent an invite to the club to see if any players could come and chat with them. It was a late invite, yet the club found the time to spend just over an hour with these kids. Angus Brayshaw and Liam Hullet came out, sat down and talked with these kids about a range of issues. Despite them probably not seeing it, it was a great thrill for these kids. Liam and Angus were very well spoken and generous with their time. As I will write to the club, I can't thank them enough. They gave these kids a real thrill and by sharing their stories they have helped to reinforce a lot of the work that has been and will continue to be done to help these disengaged youth.
  8. this was my highlight !!! my son getting asked to be Mascot for the day and my girls did the guard of honour too many thanks to MFC for this , on such a hard day for us
  9. This is a first time post. I visited from Adelaide today. I don’t read Demonland a lot other than at this time of the season, and really appreciate those who do training reports. But knowing people involved in the club, this is not the place to spend too much time in season! I thought I would add my bit to preseason, although it’s 3 hours later so I have probably already forgotten half of it and Kev above covered some of it. I arrived at 9.15 and the players were already warming up. I stayed till the very end, which was just after 1pm with the last 3 off the track being Steven May, Jack Viney, and Marty Hore. They finished with goal to goal repeat sprints, which at the end of a 4 hour session was impressive. Even more impressive is May was side by side with Viney doing 22-25 second 170m sprints after 4 hours of training. It was about 80% ball work and 20% running at training. They started in 2 groups at each end doing non contact match sim inside the 50 arcs. The emphasis was on kicking skills. Every turnover was called out loud and clear by the coaching staff, even if was a poor that bounced. While this was going on AVB, Petty, and Bradke were doing repeat 200-300m sprints around the outside. AVB was setting the pace and looked in great nick. When he was leaving training he was saying that if 2019 was different he would have played in the back half of the year like 2018, and he feels he is 100%. From what I can tell he is doing lots of running but perhaps they don’t want to risk a Spargo like step on foot incident yet. After the skills match sim it changed to full oval match sim with the non contact players standing out. Lever, Weideman, Jetta etc we’re not standing around, but doing a lot of explosive agility type work in the unused forward pocket. The match sim was interesting. It would start with a congested activity somewhere upfield with an emphasis on ground balls. The players would repeatable roll the ball into a scrimmage, and then try and pick up and get a clearance and when they did just roll the ball back in. It kept going until the coaches blew a whistle which signalled it was real, and from a clearance they’d try and get it inside 50 to a lead. It was pretty willing, evidenced by Tmac (I think) leading out at full tilt with Hore drifting back and KK trying to spoil. Hore and KK were both flattened. Luckily no major harm although KK left training to get his elbow seen to. After the full oval match sim they broke up into various groups doing different activities. Mainly seemed to focus on skills, although some players would be cycled through activities that looked a bit like trying to work on explosiveness. For example, 3 players would be on their stomachs, and the coach would roll a ball near 1 and call out. 2 would jump up, the closest to get the ground ball and the second to tackle. Seemed to be working on recovery, getting to feet, evading or tackling etc. Another group were totally focussed on kicking to the wing. Others were doing 150m sprints, and other doing stoppages again with ground balls. For the ground ball stoppages, the coaches were continuously calling out for longer handballs to the outside. At one stage, Stafford was working on goal kicking. Hunt and Weideman did a lot of work. Then they setup a spot 40m out and had a camera directly in front and one to the side. Stafford was managing, and had Petracca, ANB, Oliver, Melksham, and Fritsch filmed for about 10 kicks each. No one else. Petracca still has a lot of work to do and I’m sure his routine will be sorted. Was still walking up to kick. The rest looked pretty good, but all seemed to be told to get some forward momentum, or at least compared to Petracca seemed to be accelerating in to kick with pretty good results. Especially Melksham who didn’t seem to miss. Some of the highlights for me overall were Petracca. He is in ripping nick, and ran in a group with Brayshaw and a few others in the repeat sprints. He is in better running nick than ever, was right up the front, and looked to handle it better than Brayshaw. Another highlight was May. It looked like he had to do extra’s, and he did not lag behind in any of the sprints. His group included Max and he was side by side with him the entire way. He also looks in great nick. In one drill, there was a handball chain that ended with a player at 40m running toward goal. May drilled everything. The other was TMac. He has his running legs, and was continuously getting in good positions and marking in the full oval match sim. Viney is doing all the running and more. His foot is not a problem touch wood, and he is loving the program Burgess has given him. Already he feels fitter than ever, and he did the extras. Oscar Mac looks in great nick and to have bulked up a lot. In the inside 50 skills match sim his kicking is really good. I didn’t see him miss a kick, which I probably couldn’t say about most of the squad. Overall, and I don’t have much to compare against as I didn’t see training last year, the squad looks in excellent nick. I did talk to a few of the veteran supporters to ask how it compares to prior years. They all seemed to think it’s the fittest they have seen them.
  10. Managed to get down for my first session of this off season. Stayed from the start until about 10:30 when I had to duck off. I'll give a rundown of the session I saw and then go through each player at the end (it will be the only way for me to remember what I thought about them all!) Rehab: Tomlinson - walking laps, Baker - walking/jogging laps, and a grouping of Jones, KK, Hannan and Bradtke. Jones does look grumpy about being in this group. None appeared overly encumbered. Hannan perhaps a little but he has an odd gait. Tom Mac no show, though he did appear later before I left. Spargo & Bennell unsighted. A few extremely looking fit umpires running the boundary - more on that later. Started with warm ups and run throughs - nothing much to comment on here other than to say I enjoyed the work of the trainer (not sure it was Burgess). Loud, clear and funny too, had the boys in good spirits to start the session. We seemed to have a couple of random players training with us - not sure of names, background etc. Lockhart seems to struggle with the warm ups and exercises. Think he is far from a natural athlete. They then moved on to some kick to kick, but in groups of 4. 2 pairs kicking to each other, with the aforementioned training balls with the yellow line down the middle. One player marks and hands off left or right to the player who immediately hits up the target with a short kick. I know some of you will love this - but there was an emphasis on kicking with the wrong foot every 2nd kick or so. Fair to say there were some average skills here from all and sundry. Reports of Rivers' kicking appear far overstated - he is a long way off Fritsch levels to whoever said that. Pickett too, is not as natural on his wrong foot as previous reports led me to believe. Jackson on the other hand has very neat skills on his preferred right in particular. There is something there that reminds me of a little less polished Bont (at least in kicking style/elbows/etc). Some of the poorest wrong foot kicking came from Bedford, Sparrow (although his preferred has improved from last year) and Dunkley, all of whom were grouped together hence particularly noticeable. I was too far away from the other groupings to comment other than the draftees who I specifically looked for. They then broke into groups - Key position players down one end, with the wings occupied by the mids/flankers/pocket players. I was closest to the Key position guys so will start there. This drill involved a coaching member kicking out from the pocket to a 2v1 situation on the HFF - 2 defenders vs 1 forward. Forwards included Fritsch, Weideman, Petty, a train-with player, and Brown. Backs included OMac, Lever, May, Joel Smith, Hore. The first 2v1 situation seemed to be about one defender engaging while another went third man up. An umpire was on hand calling holding the man if the engaging defender held on too much, which was a good idea (even though the players didn't seem to notice or care when a free kick was called as the drill was moving too fast). The 2nd defender would then drop off and the forward and remaining defender ran into the 50, pivoted on a cone with the forward leading to the coach on the HFF. If the defender didn't check his man closely enough, the kick would be delivered to the leading forward. This only happened once. If there was not enough separation on the lead, the forward would double back around to receive a high kick at the point of the goal-square, with the defender trying to body and ultimately spoil/outmark. The 2nd umpire was on hand to watch these contests for holding too, and called a couple. In general, there were two stand-out players in this drill - being 1) May and 2) Joel Smith. May is just an absolute brute - he is strong, physical and intense, and with a running jump can fly as well as 3rd man up. Joel Smith is a very impressive athlete - as big (if not bigger) as most of these boys, but also faster and with more spring, reads the flight of the ball well too. He has sure hands and outpointed more or less every forward on every occasion, either punching or marking in a 1v1 vs the forward. Weideman was disappointing - to me he just doesn't have the required intensity to body up and shake clear of his opponent. He always seems to want to take a running jump or simply reach over the top, which didn't work in particular against Smith who just rises too high. I have been prepared to give him time but I have my doubts. The concern for him is that he shows no more than Petty, who is a couple years his junior but appears to have more of the intensity required. If Sam fails to perform this year, I think the coaching staff might just run out of patience. Fritsch was undersized in this drill so didn't star, but he's a fantastic overhead mark as we know, times his leap exceptionally well and positions himself to protect the dropzone. Brown is a funny one - appears much more comfortable with the ball on the deck than he is in the air. Can't jump particularly high. Lever isn't an especially impressive player in 1v1 situations, but won his share of contests purely by getting front position and drawing a free kick. Hore went OK, OMac is just too sluggish (I like him, but this may be his downfall) and the train-with player was a nice athlete too with a good burst of speed. Would have liked to have seen Luke Jackson in this drill though I imagine he would have been rag-dolled. I then moved to the wing where a group of mids/flankers/pockets were doing some kind of transition drill from end to end involving a player marking the ball from a kick, selling a dummy around the man on the mark and handballing out to a free player, who looked to be trying to deliver kicks clearing a pack of players that I imagine is supposed to represent the 'body' of players in the middle of the ground as we transition out of the 50. i.e. aiming to clear the centre circle ish and go arc to arc. There was some average kicking here from a few - Brayshaw (who was wearing #43 oddly), Langdon, Dunkley in particular. Langdon's kicking isnt great, very high ball drop. Dunkley likewise doesnt appear to have a particularly low or controllable kicking action - struggles to kick with any penetration by my eye. Brayshaw's issue was more of sloppiness than action. Jetta & Oliver looked good in this drill, didn't mind little Chandler either who is neat enough by foot. They then moved into a sort of semi-full ground match simulation. There was only one scoring end, teams split into training tops vs hi-vis vests. Fair to say the hi-vis team, who were not the scoring team, struggled, although there may have been a deliberate outnumber in certain parts of the ground, it was hard to tell. Due to the vests it was also a little more difficult to tell who was who in this drill. There appeared to be an emphasis on kicking out, then going back i50 and switching to the free side with speed. This wasn't always particularly well done and quite a few poor kicks were intercepted i50 by the attacking team leading to set shots on goal. In particular, one turnover to Weideman's lap who does have a good set shot kick and drilled it. Couldn't see who the culprit was. The absolute stand-out in this drill was Fritsch. He honestly made it look easy - either presenting up at the ball as a forward, or intercepting the hi-vis team's exit from the back 50 and just strolling into goal. An exceptionally skilled and smart player who has the scope to do very special things in the forward line I think. Other strong contributors in this drill were May, who took one very good pack mark when he had no right to, and I liked Lockhart's work as a small defender. He's tenacious, has good agility, is elusive, and creative by hand and foot. He shares many attributes with Jetta and I can see why they might have him in mind for that role. Because we know he can go forward, I wouldn't be surprised to see him make a few 22's during the year as he could be handy to move up forward when we need a goal at the end of games. LJ struggled up forward to be frank - hands to a lot of balls but couldn't quite bring them down. Being matched up on Lever and May is a steep learning curve. Individual Player observations: Pickett - Applied decent forward pressure in the match simulation, without ever laying too many tackles or getting much of the ball. Couldn't bring down Viney, managed to bring down Gus on the wing. Early days but I had hoped to see him with ball in hand a little more. Next time hopefully. Didn't seem lightning quick but there wasn't a lot of space to show this off. Rivers - a very good size that would allow him to play early if good enough. Didn't get overly involved in match simulation but I will repeat that his kicking is perhaps not as good as it has been touted. Kicked twice into the man on the mark. If he's to transition to a mid, will need to improve his speed of thought / hand in contested situations, but like Kossie, early days and he is getting used to the tempo. Jackson - Very interesting player. I can see why they think he might be a mid long term as he's good below his knees, makes good decisions by hand and is neat by foot. As above, struggled as a forward against the bigger bodies. If he plays early in the fwd line, I wouldn't be expecting much aside from the odd cameo. Tomlinson - Absolutely massive unit. Would have to be the biggest 'winger' of all time. Walking laps. Langdon - Does have good running patterns as has been touted, finds pockets of space to receive the ball and got a fair bit of it in the match sim as a result. I like the timing of his late runs into the 50 behind the forwards/backs, was found by Fritsch in the goal square with a particularly raking kick on one occasion. May - Discussed above - I will only add that he is absolutely crucial to this team. There is no other defender like him on the list and you can see he makes them all walk taller. Very vocal and a leader. My only criticism is that he does everything with so much gusto, he has a tendency to over commit to contests that he has very little chance of winning, and can sometimes leave his man free as a result when he misses the ball or something. Jones - Rehab, looked grumpy. A lovely left foot kick, was teaching Bradtke to drop the ball lower. Seemed fine and probably not far off. Salem - Looked his usual self, nothing of note. Skinny legs! Harmes - Watching him in the Match Sim, I think he is the Hibberd replacement. Similiar players - speed, can shrug a tackle, not easily beaten. A good player who has become a consistent trainer. Petracca - Other than wearing a funny hat, I did not think he was particularly noticeable. Didn't get a lot of the ball, though had good burst speed when he did. Needs to continue working on making faster decisions when he receives the ball as his indecision allows defensive numbers to get back. Viney - Looked good overall other than some loopy kicking. But strong in the contest, shrugging off would-be tacklers, and generally involved. Moving well. Lever - As above, a strange player who isn't overly strong, fast or athletic. Very vocal and a leader though; we are paying him for his brain rather than his body. Prone to erroroneous kicking out of D50. Spargo - Absent Brayshaw - One observation above, but not too noticeable otherwise. Just travelling along it seems. Brought down by Kossie when he should not have been. Gawn - The quietest session I have seen from him. Barely noticed. Good in the contest when called upon. Bedford - Got a little bit of the ball; he's got spunk which I like. His kicking can let him down though, quite loose action and tends to overhit his passes. Good height for a small forward. Oliver - Our best player. Good things happen when he gets the ball. Just understands where to kick it, when to run, and how to position himself and his team mates. No particularly outstanding moments but just consistently makes smarter decisions than the rest of the list. Hibberd - I thought he looked a little more like his 2018 self, industrious coming out of D50 and strong in the contest. A very important player still. KK - in rehab, barely resembles a footballer anymore in size. Honestly looks like one of the volunteers/trainers running around. I hold little hope. Melksham - With Fritsch, the most dangerous forward on the ground in the Match sim. Such a good user of his body when the ball is in the air and had quite a few set shots as a result. Hannan - in rehab. Weird gait, weird player. Can't help but think his days might be numbered if Fritsch continues to star and Melksham holds the other HFF. But injuries, declines or other circumstances can provide his opportunity if he can get fit. Preuss - Does appear leaner, though lost a little of his imposing presence as a result. Didn't get a lot of ball in the match sim. In no man's land in my opinion; neither a forward, doesn't look like a 1st ruck anymore and doesn't strike me as anything else. I liked his game against Carlton last year though when he was our 1st ruck. AVB - Our most physical player. Bashed and crashed his way around, including bringing down the non-contact Neitschke. Love having him back. Generally very involved; a full year of him on the park will make us so much better, as we all saw during our 18 finals run. Jordon - Can't say I noticed him too much but suspect he was playing for the hi-vis team and therefore absent a number. Has no particularly noticeable style, height, hair or hat so he is a tricky one! Tmac - As above, no show at the start though arrived later in runners. Not sure what the issue is. Weideman - Some commentary above, in short I have concerns. If he has put on strength/size, it doesn't show in terms of how he uses it. More intensity required. Nietschke - First I have seen of him and agree with others that he appears to naturally find space and the ball. Not a particularly great user but could have a role one day. Appears diligent if his form during the warm ups / exercises is anything to go by (much more than some other players). Omac - Some discussion above - I like his kicking skills and like his genuine size, I think he is effective on the gorilla forwards if they don't have much speed. Put space around him though and he's all at sea; if I was coaching the opposition I would be taking him deep to isolate at every opportunity. Got called for quite a few holding the man free kicks in the key position drill because once they get separation, he can't keep up and so holds on. At this point I think we may have seen close to his best in 2018. If May were to go down, he's a serviceable replacement but barely adequate. One thing I did notice is that he is perhaps too 'smart' for his own good - in the key position drill I described above he often wouldn't bother sticking too close to the forward on the first lead because most of the time the leads weren't being honoured; a quirk of the drill given they were trying to practise 1v1 contested marking. He began to double back almost immediately knowing that that's where the drill would very likely end up. Again, in my view this shows his lack of intensity. Nonetheless, he's not the worst depth in the world but not convinced he will ever be a best 22 full back, at least not in a very successful team. Hunt - I liked what I saw from him today. Seemed to be picking the ball up in the back half and looking a little like his 2017/2018 self running it out of the back half, but pleasingly lowering his eyes. One to watch, could be a quiet improver. ANB - Not too noticeable, as usual buzzing around the contest to receive exit handballs. Knows his role, has limitations but there is a place for him in the 22 when on song. Brings more energy albeit less skill than the nearest competition for an endurance small flanker (C Wagner). Fritsch - See above. A beautiful player who made quite a few look silly. Judging by the quality of his forward half intercepting (very prevalent in the time I watched), the time down back may have actually done him some good in this area. Appeared to read the ball coming out very well. Sparrow - I like his size, speed and power, but he needs a touch more guile or it will all go to waste. When he receives the ball in traffic he doesn't have a heap of composure in deciding how to get rid of it, and bombs it away quite often as a result. As I noted above, in the drills his kicking seemed slightly improved from his first year. He could be something but it's going to take some work; he's one who I think would benefit from consistent AFL exposure with its high tempo. VFL will help too, but won't exactly accelerate his development in his problematic area given you have more time at that level. Baker - jogging laps. Good size. I am hopeful for him as he showed a bit particularly against GWS at the G last year. Hore - a very non-fuss player and valuable depth. Bit of a 'tweener but does everything well without ever excelling. Not sure of his future. Petty - Moves like a big key forward should. He's imposing & heavy. Decent skills during the kicking drills, but barely touched it (that I saw) in the match sim. Chandler - Busy little player who I don't mind; has a sidestep and can work his way out of trouble. May be too small to make the grade given he doesn't possess the elite skills or pace that supposedly Pickett does. But he's a goer and will give himself every chance of making it you sense. Jetta - Looked good, free and running well after I have had concerns on his age/body/decline. Early days with a full season of knocks and bruises to come but a very composed leader. Rarely makes mistakes. C Wagner - Can get the ball on the outside and has OK skills and pace. Looks a million bucks at VFL level but can't match it with the big AFL mids I fear. May one day have a role as a flanker but it's not something he's especially natural at in my opinion. Reminds me of ANB. Lockhart - As above I liked his work today. Has genuine footy smarts and elusiveness in a way that many on our list do not. Not a natural athlete at all but knows his game. Will play games this year IMO. J Wagner - Same old. May have been responsible for a couple of turnovers but not sure it was him (hi-vis). Squeezed a lovely kick around the corner to Pickett down the other end. An error-prone player who is depth at best & I think knows he's potentially on his last chance. In his favour is that he seems durable and does not get injured. Growing his hair. Joel Smith - See above. Loved what I saw in the aerial drill. A bit of a clunky kick but when you watch him in training up close he's an absolute specimen. Would love his groins to stay trouble free and see what he can do with a bit of time in the 1s. Not sure it's the time for that given our ambitions, but he could be a very good player I think. Has a rare athletic profile that many would kill to have. Bradtke - Rehab. Beanpole. Working on set shots, hit them OK. Stafford working with him on his kicking as he seems incapable of hitting any kind of a low spearing pass (similiar to gawn though). Seems athletic, long way to go. Dunkley - I watched with interest as I find him difficult to judge. He's a relatively smooth mover over the ground but it kind of translates to his kicking in that his steps/run up don't change when kicking. That sounds good but it's not; it means he kicks in full stride rather than steadying himself with minor adjustments like some of the best do innately. This results in overhit, long kicks (we know he can hit long kicks from his set shot kicking last year). Does seem to be able to find the footy. A weird one, not sure on his future. Those who would draw comparisons to his similarly 'agricultural' brother when drafted would be missing that KDunk does not have Josh's explosiveness. Maybe he can develop it though? Brown - A few things mentioned above - he's alright. Decent depth. Not a lot of overhead presence but I like his searching leads. Notwithstanding he may all of a sudden become important, I'd like to think he's been signed to force Weideman to step up. Not sure it will work, but I like that idea. My overall impression was that training was fine. Not amazing, not bad, just training. I remain concerned about our key forward stocks as neither of Weideman or Brown showed much, and Petty is promising but still young and inexperienced at the craft. It's not a particularly strong group though. This was relatively glaring in my view particularly given the absence of TMac, and I think you'll find we still rely on him quite a lot this year at least if he is fit. If he's not, it might be struggle town again. The positive for the forward line was that Fritsch and Melksham looked absolutely terrific and would give many half back flankers a good bit of trouble. Nothing I saw convinced me that we've 'solved' the forward pocket role, but it's Kossie's 2nd or 3rd week and the drills weren't particularly conducive to small forward play, with the most contested forward 50 ever in the match sim. Our other small forwards are mostly 2nd/3rd year players. Personally, 2018 Spargo is still the best of the lot if he can rediscover his form. His footy IQ was very important to us that year. Backline looked strong with May, Joel Smith and Lever an interesting combination I haven't previously considered. If a team got picked from today, Joel Smith would be in it. Midfield is now stocked all through the depth chart, albeit with late / speculative draft choices, so let the best men win. But no one is touching Oliver. Not even close. That's actually turned out to be quite a long post....
  11. I'm absolutely sick of it. It's bullying. It derails threads. There is going to be a no tolerance policy about it. I'm not going to be playing favourites about it either. If I see it or it is brought to my attention and espcially if it's from one of you usual suspects, and you know who you are, then you are gone. It might be a week, it might be a month, it might be a year, it might be forever. I do not like to do this and I hate that it has come to this but for some of you your time on Demonland is almost up. Last warning for everyone. Play nice. Play the ball and not the man. If you don't like a poster or his/her opinions then scroll past their posts or use the ignore feature. If you continually bait certain posters you will be banned. No more warnings. If you continually abuse certain posters you will be banned. No more warnings. If you derails threads you will be banned. No more warnings. I might miss things and it might seem unfair that this one gets dealt an unfair hand well that's just bad luck. If you don't do the crime, you won't do the time. I'm building a wall around Demonland and the Richmond fan forum is going to pay for it. Last warning starts now. THESE ARE EXCITING TIMES AHEAD FOR OUR CLUB. IT WILL BE A SHAME IF YOU ARE NOT HERE TO PARTICIPATE.
  12. I went to the Casey game yesterday as I wanted to have a look at the new blokes. Conditions were perfect although it was quite humid and the smoke haze and smell were quite strong. It was a resounding win by Casey who completely outplayed Brisbane around the ball and of course were helped by Viney, Jones and Melksham who were just a class above. This is how I saw the Demons:- Kade Chandler:- Didn't know he was on the ground in the first quarter as I was mainly watching the big three but I certainly noticed him in the second and subsequent quarters. He's small but he looks strong and quick, not lightening, but quick and he has good hands and a good kick. He took a good contested mark at one point and kicked a couple of goals in the second. He covered the ground well and tackled. He used the ball well with several passes inside forward 50 to teammates and was the most impressive of the new blokes from my point of view. He looks like he could become a good player. Nathan Jones: Often when you see a senior player come back to a lower grade they seem a little at sea and don't dominate the way you'd expect. Jonesy didn't have that problem. From the first bounce he just kept getting the ball and managed to find space in tight and continually won the ball at stoppages. His skills were rusty as he missed several handballs and kicks I'd normally expect him to nail but it was a little like watching a year 12 boy play with the year 10's. He was just better than the rest. Seemed to run out the game well and I've no doubt he'll play round1. Jack Viney: Was pretty dominant around the stoppages and on occasions used his strength really well just bashing through tackles at stoppages and clearing the ball. Played quite some time in the forward 50 but doesn't look a natural forward at all. He got plenty of the ball and used it well. He looked pretty spent towards the end and appeared to hurt himself when he attempted a spoil from behind and may have jarred his knee/leg on landing. I watched carefully as he went to the bench where a trainer/physio (I was on the other side of the ground) talked to him for a minute or two. There didn't appear to be any testing of the leg or any ice used and he walked reasonably comfortably after the game. Like all, I'm just hoping for the best. James Jordan: Looked a class player and while he didn't get a heap of it when he did he used it well and looked confident in what he was doing. Played off half back and covered a lot of ground. He is a sure ball handler and a lovely kick and appeared to be in the right place at the right time. He's still quite slight but showed courage and a willingness to tackle. I liked what I saw. Corey Wagner: Showed some speed and footy smarts at times and if he was a first year player you'd be quite excited but he's not and if he's going to make it needs to find something more. He certainly has a go and won his fair share in the forward 50. Jake Melksham: Didn't really see him in the first quarter but started to play well in the second and was dominant in the last half. His contested ball work was great, he was strong in the air, he found space and his kicking was fantastic. He was close to BOG for me in the second half and will be a great addition with his kicking skills particularly. Sam Frost: Just a game. Always looks a class above until he fumbles the simple ones or makes a rookie mistake. He did get better as the game wore on but not one of his better games because of the mistakes. Also there wasn't a lot to do down back for Casey. Tom Sparrow: I was disappointed with his first half and can't say I really noticed him but sometimes when you're watching for the first time you don't notice players so maybe I'm being unfair. He started to get more involved in the third but I was disappointed with his disposal but as the game wore on he got better and better and displayed some really good clearance work and kicking skills. He's very much in the mould of an inside mid with a see ball get ball approach and was at the bottom of a lot of packs. I was much more confident at the end of the day than at half time with him as he definitely has some AFL attributes. Cory Maynard: Not a dominant game but maybe was pushed out of his normal role with Viney and Jones doing a lot of the centre clearance work. Just a game really and not one to get excited about. Toby Bedford: Now here is an interesting one. In one sense he's got it all. He's quick and nimble, he covers a lot of ground, he's a willing tackler and he works hard. Looks to be a sure ball handler and a good kick but reality about yesterday is he didn't get it enough to make a judgement really But every time he was around the ball or got it he caught your eye. I'm glad he's on the list but he's got to learn the best trick in footy - to get the ball. Braydon Preuss: Dominant ruck in the first half and gave silver service to the mids while he was on. As you know, he injured himself in the first minute of the third quarter and wasn't seen again. Austin Bradtke: Got Casey's first goal (I think) with a really good contested pack mark in the first few minutes of the game and followed up later in the quarter with another. He's got good hands and can kick it quite well and found a bit of it around the ground but I don't think he added to his two first quarter goals. He did quite a bit of rucking when Preuss went off and was monstered. Lots of time in the gym and a clear project player but looks a good long term prospect and although it's too early to call looks more a forward than a ruck. Jost Wagner: Not a lot to do but what he did he did well. Very brave on occasions particularly in the air and was spoiling the ball very well to the boundary on many occasions. He's a good VFL player and performs regularly at this level from what I've seen but didn't do enough to push a case for senior selection. Harry Petty: I've liked this kid from the first time I've seen him and again he looked very good yesterday. He reads the play really well, he's a very strong overhead mark and his kicking is very good. He got to the right place regularly and played a very good game. Towards the end of the game he had a couple of spells in the ruck which looked quite promising as he was okay with his tap work and agile and mobile enough around the ground to have an impact. Given our relative glut of KPD I wouldn't be surprised to see him trialled forward at some point. With his contested marking strength and kicking ability he could be a handful. I'm very confident this kid will be an excellent AFL footballer. Oscar Baker: Clearly needed a run. Looked rusty and didn't get into the game as you'd have hoped but he's had a long spell on the sidelines. He loves to get involved and he loves to take people on, not always with the desired outcome. But he has a go, he's got very good pace and he clearly believes in himself. Having said that, it wasn't a good game by his standards from my point of view.
  13. I'm down from Mildura for the weekend and watched my first ever training and took a couple random notes on the phone. First thing I noticed was how windy it was, much like a vfl game on how bloody cold it was. Don't know how you all handle it. I hovered around the Hoddle St side to firstly see three supporters there in shorts and was instantly thrown more importantly I saw Crossy (in magic shape) leading Jeffy and Hibb with some decent running around the park while Lewis, King ( I think as he was a tall fella I haven't seen) Viney, Kent, Nev, Tmac, Trenners, Pedo, AVB and JKH were completing some agility, 100m run throughs and sharp skills. They then did some sharp lane work which showcased the kicking of Kent and Lewis especially. Tmac kept flying at the at the ball with one arm to which I instantly got a sense of "hollywood" about him which disappointed me. When he came up close I noticed the huge scar on his shoulder which explained these one armed efforts.... Sorry Tmac. Other things randomly I noticed from the recovery group: Pedo was back and waddling away, he will surely blow out post football. He has fantastic hands out in front Lewis has a simple and beautiful kicking style. Clarry / Lewis / AVB are huge midfielders. Clarry is also a wonderful kick Trenners is moving freely. A few of these boys split into groups of three with some triangle kicking. Trenners, a Jeffy and Kent in one group. Kicking was perfect here except for two Kent tried on his right... Filth. Was surprised by how big Trenners leap was. The other group was AVB, Jordy, and Clarry. I'd like to see Clarry kick the pill a lot more this year as it's wonderful. Gee AVB is a massive unit. I understand his role more seeing him in the flesh as he really does demand a tallish defender to watch him. The rehab group then went into some running while I strolled over to watch the real stuff on the wing. While watching this there was a lot of run throughs by the rehabbers. AVB completes at least a dozen it seems 400m runs and looks redder than Clarry with each one he does. Lewis, Clarry and Pedo complete about a dozen timed 200m sprints in front of me. Pedo is running swinging his head in a massive display of being completely rooted. Viney and Kent are doing similar together with Jack out pacing Kent but he does his best to catch him. If you didn't know these boys and saw them out you would think they are the cliche case of having short man syndrome as they are both absolute tanks. Watching the main stuff and it's a lot of full ground stuff at good intensity. Right in front of me, Hunt sprints 40m to make a superman spoil in front of Hoges, gets up, out sprints him to the ball then clears it straight to an opponent... So nearly perfect. He then shanks his next kick. If I was to leave now you could say he doesn't have the skill so I keep an eye on him, his next 7 or 8 are perfect. Garland reminds me of Watts the way he moves, so laconic. He's missed a simple handball that would have cost a goal at one stage but other than that he looked ok. McCartneys in front of me staring at me.... I look away. He then yells at someone, "stop watching the effing play and move" and "dont be dictated to son" not sure who it's aimed at. I go to get a photo but I sense him looking and decide against it. Tyson has had a few raking long kicks that were magic. Other good kickers as we know we're of course Chunk (beautiful spin, flat and firm), Watts of course and ANB skills looked nice. One who surprised me moving well was Salem. I have never been a huge fan but he stood out to me today. Wishing him well. Watts is always smiling. Frosty has ran the ball out from defence a couple times, hits a target but they are a bit floaty. He's an incredible athlete with his pace, strength and agility. Surprised me how big a lot of the boys are as I haven't been up close before. Clearly the Woolies have more steroids in there chickens down here. Hey there's Saty, nice hat mate oh and the Suns out.... And it's gone. One play see Max kicking over Watts head running to goal, it's about to run through next to the post where Watts stops it, runs behind the post back into play and soccer kicks it off his heal through while a defender was chasing him. I'm in awe. I'd almost cheer if Macca was around somewhere close. A one on one contest where Wags and Jesse wrestle. Jesse takes and gets a whack from Wags on the chin as he tries to spoil. Jesse not happy but gets the free and kicks the goal. Trac then gives Wag a friendly bump and laughter starts. Good banter. Training ends (for me, it's to cold) watching the group in the centre square and a one on one contest. A player is nominated by the coaches. This player then picks a team mate to have a marking contest while someone kicks for chf 40m away. Chunk is up first who picks Brayshaw, everyone roars. Two nil all draws then one drops short and Gus plucks the grab. You'd think we'd just one a flag they went off, was great. next was Weed who selects OMac in a battle of the baby giraffes. It was a nice friendly contest ending in nil all from 3. Each time Weed got into good position and looked like marking but couldn't. Omac didn't want to mark, only spoil. Then Salem was picked and chose Trac. It was nil all until Salem took a one handed screamer while being held. Everyone lost it again. Finally Jesse was up and looked at Gawn, smiled at Gawn, then chose Frost. Talk about a battle of the heavy weights. You could here the slap of the bodies from the wing as these two lions went at it. I think they clunked one each. Good stuff. Better shoot off into town as was meant to be here looking at wedding bands, not watching footy. Miss Deeko will be a bit grumpy if she finds out. cheers
  14. Yesterday 17th June. Myself and my wife and our little boy ( 4 ) was invited to see Jesse Hogan. I sponsor him and we missed the breakfast the club has scheduled with him the other week due to my wife Illness. I spoke to lovely woman Celia McDonald, who nothing seemed to be a problem. Explaining my wife illness to her, she helped us re arrange a date and time, for not only us to have a chat with Jesse but to hand over the letter our girls had done to Jesse and Jack watts, Celia showed us around AAMI park, Put up with out 4 year old running around, Harry O smiled at him waved hello while he was on the Bike, all players we saw took time to greet us. Jesse was great, we talked for over 20 minutes about football, pinball and any and everything , how he thought we would be unstoppable in 4 years. His training, he was on a modified program yesterday , all planned and part of what he has to do. I am guessing not pushing too hard. He signed my little mans jumper, and played with him. A very Genuine bloke and we all appreciated the time and effort he made for us. As I said a Big thank you to all involved, the Club, Jesse and Celia , made a old mans day and was happy my wife could now smile as she was upset at missing the breakfast. Thought I share my story and say thanks ...
  15. GENTS!!!!! I've known about this since yesterday but have had to keep quiet until the official release. Over 12 years of blood, sweat and tears has gone into this day. Dec has worked his [censored] off and finally gets his chance, debuting at the glorious MCG. I am lost for words. Lets hope he kicks a few goals. Carn Dec and Carn the Dee's!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
  16. For the first time I arrived before the players who wondered over at about 9.15. For consistency my first stop was rehab and there was some good news. Vanders and Petty weren't in it. Bradtke was along with KK, Jones, Hannan, Oscar Baker and Bennell. Jones was doing a lot of running scaling down to Bennell who was doing gentle 100m runs. Tomlinson was also there and doing gentle runs for the first time. The usual warm up drills with a bit of stretching and some short runs and kicking followed before they broke into groups for some kicking, leading type drills where the skills were pretty good. Viney was in fine form in front of me along with Chandler who was out in full training despite missing Wednesday (as did Vanders). Another drill involved some leading and marking against a defender in genuine contest work and the first player of the day to really impress was Joel Smith. He was in everything, marking really well and getting a lot of it. We noticed an umpire doing some warm up laps and were excited to see some real match practice. It was 100% flat out but with "respectful tackling". What fun!! Players to impress: Fritsch: If there was a "best on ground" it surely went to this bloke. Had the ball on a string, was clean and clunked mark after mark. The only downer was his kicking was a little off but he looks to have make another step up from last year based on today. Harmes: Just involved in everything playing half back. Made space, was clean with the ball, kicked it well and made good decisions. I think there is little doubt he'll play back this season and hopefully play that Laird/Lloyd role. Melksham: in everything. Jetta: he was back with his dancing feet, got plenty of it and kicked very well. You'd have been proud of him Saty! Langdon: Just did what he did at Freo. Up and down the wing, plenty of possies with his execution still a bit off. Dunkley: I call this bloke "Mr Invisible". Never seem to notice him but today he was on a wing in front of me marking Langdon and he got his fair share of it and looked comfortable. Bedford: I saw this bloke a lot at Casey last year and he never really got involved but today he did - often. Sadly he fumbled a fair bit and didn't make the most of his chances which was odd because he's got neat skills. Jackson: I don't want to hype this bloke too much but he did one thing in front of me that was special. Langdon was gathering a ground ball and for all the world looked like it was his. Jackson swooped (and I mean swooped) in at full pace, gathered it cleanly and gave a left hand handball off to a teammate. It was a thing of beauty. This kid could be anything. But to balance my report it's only fair to say he missed some marks he should have taken but it's the first time he's played in a genuine full pressure situation. He gets more of the ball on the ground than in the air and the more I see him the more I can believe the talk of midfield in a few year. Pickett: He was involved, had no trouble with the pace of the game and did some nice things but also make mistakes missing a chest mark he should have taken at one stage. But he's got that typical indigenous talent of speed and lateral movement. His closing speed is terrific. Oliver, Brayshaw, Gawn, May and Lever all did well but you've seen them do it often. There were two sessions of match sim each lasting about 10 minutes with the draftees sitting out the second along with Vanders and Petty. They finished with some serious running before the end at about 11.15. Spargo was there in a moonboot and TMac didn't train, I've no idea why. Vanders and Petty seemed to get through fine and Jones doesn't seem far away. Hannan was also doing much more than a week or so ago and Baker did some running at about half pace which I haven't seen before. Tomlinson and Bennell look a long way off and KK has been on the same program for the week it would seem. It was great to see something like real footy.
  17. As the season has heated up he is one player who has seemed to relish the pressure. Has shown incremental improvement but is now showing some smarts and composure. Doing important defensive jobs and has been composed with the ball in hand. He is one player who in the last couple of weeks has been composed when it counted. On field leader.
  18. It was hot and windy, difficult conditions that we handled pretty well. Rehab: Vanders and Petty. Pretty much the same as last week. Joined all drills other than the zoning drill I will describe later. Jones and KK. Walked a few laps and then did multiple 100 metre runs around the boundary at about half pace. Neither looked at all inconvenienced. Hannan. Similar to Jones and KK except he ran straight line 100m working up from slow to three quarter pace. Did some specific exercises with one of the physio's concentrating on gait and agility. Spargo: unsighted Bennell: a late arrival and did some gentle boundary running. Tomlinson and Baker: walking That's it for rehab. All the other players did the full session other than Jackson, Rivers and Pickett who joined some of the drills and some specialized drills away from the main group. It was a "craft" day today from what I could tell. There was no match sim but many drills concentrating on specific areas. The main drill of interest was two "teams" practicing zoning and kicking within the zone. The players were continually telling each other where to go, where to stand and alerting them to opposition positioning. The "playing area" was about half the size of a soccer field. Other drills involved marking and spoiling exercises in a three man up situation. Still others involved kicking to leading forwards and there was some "loose" goal kicking practice. The session was only about 2 hours and not nearly as intense as last week, nor as long. The session was one where individual players didn't really stand out but Steve May's kicking is a thing of beauty. In difficult conditions he regularly found tight targets. Beyond that no player really caught my notice for either good or bad reasons. Pickett was there and moves really nicely, is clean with the ball and disposes well. He'll play earlier than many think, particularly if Bennell isn't available. Jackson continues to impress with his skills (and I only mention this because of the concern prior to draft). All in all a low key session in hot and difficult conditions.
  19. Hi, I've just got back from the game and joined you fellow demonlanders because I'm convinced I've seen the reincarnation of the great Matthew Whelan. Neville Jetta has been amazing this year, never thought he had it in him. Here's a look at his games: Essendon - Kept three time premiership champion Paul Chapman under control with Chapman only getting 18 possessions and 1 goal. Collingwood - Kept Collingwood livewire Jamie Elliot to his lowest possession and goal count this year with 9 disposals and 1 goal. Port Adelaide - Before Wingard got subbed, kept the new wonderkid Chad Wingard to only 5 POSSESIONS! Western Bulldogs - Kept vastly impressive Luke Dahlhaus goalless for only the second time this year! Adelaide - Destroyed Eddie Betts. Keept him goalless and to 8 possessions. Sydney - Didn't have any impact with the ball but Kept the lightening quick Lewis Jetta goalless. Since Whelan, when have we had a small defender this good. Not only is Jetta fantastic at stopping small forwards, he uses the ball well. Even though he isn't a long kick his short passes nearly always hits the mark and he hits players in good positions. One final wrap for Jetta, whenever he needs to lay a tackle he lands it. Today he put a Essendon player into next week! I've joined a forum for this bloke. I've been so impressed whilst not a games, but watching him live, Wow, Roos & Jetta have created something special.
  20. Good post. I feel the same. I am 60 and have supported them all my life. My wife and kids the same. Never seen them win a flag. Copped [censored] from other clubs fans all my life but never strayed. I started the first supporters club magazine, called Demon's World. I started a supporters group called the Premier's Club. I have been a Director of the club. I have been Team Manager of the club. I brought in a new President, Wayne Reid. I am a Foundation member. I am a sponsor. I enjoy Demonland. I have given all my hope and soul to this club. I don't want anything but success for the club. I have watched Boards fight each other. I was even part of one big fight. I nearly cried at the merger meeting when I saw the way people treated the late Tiger Ridley, a true Demon great. I have seen the club tear itself apart. This year I watched as Jim passed away, not long after two other Demon greats in Sean Wight and Stewart Spencer. I watched a sponsor stuff us up. I watched the Jurrah situation. I watched as our Coach was falsely called a racist. I watched the team get smashed week after week. I watched the media go to town on us and they still are. It just seems so unfair. Other teams cheat and win Premierships. We are the only team to win a game that losing would have given us a priority pick and we did it twice. When we did get a pick the kid spent a year lying to us and his dying President before the AFL took him away from us. There is so much more i could go on about. We seem to spend all of our time worrying about our club. It nearly makes you want to cry and give up. However that is just not acceptable as I have my children and grandchildren who I want to one day enjoy success that I have been denied. Stop the fighting amongst each other and all get behind the club. If we lose draft picks I want this club to fight all the way and I mean all the way. We owe it to those who came before and those who will come after. I don't give a rat's arse what we have to do to prevail in this situation, I just want it done. If we have to bring in every other club or destroy Demetriou or hurt the AFL I don't give a sh-t anymore. I have had enough. Yes we may have been naughty but no different to many other clubs yet we alone once again are copping it. Our brand is being trashed and our future hampered and in fact put at real risk. We have 40 or so players who want to win for us and we need to support them. I don't care how dirty we need to be just do it. We are seen as a weak club. NO BLOODY MORE. If we lose draft picks, we should hit the Courts, rally at the AFL and show the rest of the clubs that we are here to stay. Sorry for the rant, I have just had a gutful.
  21. I attended training today to get out of my un air-conditioned house. I pretty much just sat in the shade so I'm only going from what I saw from a far. Rehab group: Filipovic,King,TMac,Pedo,Wagner & Hannan Brayshaw came off the ground with troubles to his foot. Got assessed by the docs and they put him through a series of run throughs and exercises. Nev also came off early but wasn't attended to as did Frost who had a bit of work done on his lower back. There was some form of VIP group that got invited down to training, a lot of oldies including the great Ron Barassi. Robbo & Daisy Pearce were also there. Matt Egan addressed this group for a few minutes and as luck would have it I happen to be within earshot of most of this. He gave a brief description of what we were meant to be seeing in each drill (at that moment). There was one drill where there were 2 lots of defenders & attackers and the defenders were to block leads and the attackers were to block the defenders from blocking leads. Looked like a bit of merry-go-round until it was explained by Egan. Another drill was stoppage work from the mids and the other drill was leading & contesting marking up forward with an emphasis on repeat efforts & Hogan's name was dropped. Egan said whilst they are happy with Hogan's contested marking they'd like him to have repeat efforts and impact more contests. Egan was asked about the music at training. For those who haven't been to training, they have music blasting out from the punt rd end. The reason behind this is to overcome noise & in game day situations there are points where you cant hear the person that's yelling at you so you have to use signals. Egan also made mention of Goodwins coaching style at training where he likes short,sharp,intense drills. If you've been you'll notice that drills go for about 5 mins and then they huddle in the middle very quickly & break out again. He likes to change it up and not leave room for rest and see how the group deals with fatigue. One thing that was noticeable in todays session was the emphasis of using your opposite foot in the drills. Frost, Petracca were prob the worst. Suprisingly Weiderman pretty handy on the op. There was a 3/4 ground drill where the emphasis was on quick ball movement, playing on or 'rolling' as the players would call it. Oliver had good hands, Hibberd, Lewis & Watts field kicking were sublime & Spencer held his own against Gawn. I was a little disappointed when a wayward kick got kicked to Viney and as he lead to it he was quickly approaching the fence. I was the only one to yell out 'fence' and by then it was too late and he cannoned into it. Luckily he is built like a wombat and got straight back up but it could have been far worse.|| Max Gawn made note of the lack of talk and gave a spray from the sidelines. As I left they were doing some form of 3/4 ground run throughs around the boundary. Up & back twice. As they finished and naturally put their hands behind their heads, Gawn & Lewis ripped into em and said words to the affect 'don't show signs of fatigue. The comp wont know what's gonna hit em'. Wagner, TMac & Pedo did a lot of lap running. Leadership group locks at this stage look like: Jones,Gawn,Viney,Lewis Contrary to recent reports, Oliver was in the main session today looking like he has knocked off the puppy fat. Petracca looked like he was on limited minutes. Feel free to ask questions, however I normally drink at this time of the night
  22. * Slightly cooler today, but only by a smidge. * Roosy takes up his post in the Cherry picker again. * Vince only one running separate from the main group. * A fair few tackling drills today - Going in hard. *ANB getting praised for his disposal - I concur. * Brayshaw prides himself on his disposal - you can tell. * Newton looks to be a good pickup. Impressed me several times today. Disposal and inside 50's awesome. You can see a bit of Port play about him also. * Good spirit amongst the guys, playing what looked to be a cross between ring a ring a rosie & pass the parcel football style. * Good kicking early on. Some guys hot and cold between days, but overall looks pretty good. * Looks like being a big session, geeing each other up to keep setting the standards. * Vanders, Harmes & Kent all with the main group (not rehab today). * Petracca good vision & hands. * Garlett looks sharper today - good speed and best I've seen him all camp today. * Not a big fan of the attitude today. Seem to be a bit tired, grumpy and getting up each other (long camp) * Vanders doing pretty well again, getting lots of direction about where to go on the field today. * The guys who still have to prove themselves are constantly standing out for their efforts. Suprise-suprise * Vanders high half forward, Brayshaw high half back in Sims. * I get a higher perch to see what Roosy likes so much about being high up. It instantly occurs to me how much of a difference the good kickers make to the game plan. The lefties in particular (Hawthornesque) open up the game so well. Newton, Kent, Whitey - It reminds of what Davey use to do. * The session is taking a little nose dive at this point - A few look a little over the camp and starting to mentally switching off. Looking for the finish line - My advice ... get some more Carbs for the brain, it supposedly runs exclusively on glucose. * Lamumba streaks out of the middle with a nice read - He did some nice things today. * Roosy addressing the troops, hope he is telling them to lift their game. * Petracca a little off early, but lifting his efforts now and impressing again. Roosy has definitely told them to finish off the camp strongly and they all picked up their standards - well done boys. * Matt Goodrope looks like Trennners from a distance. * Howie dancing a little jig, hammy can't be too bad. * Newton a good tackler as well - Is there anything he isn't good at, any weakness? Haven't found it yet. * Into a few drills to get something right and then back into match sims. Finishing off strongly now. * Roosy more happy with them now. * JKH/ King/ Watts & Howe off to ice up early. Didn't see Howie train again but I could be wrong. * Kent & Riley doing a bit of extra running at the end (catch up from being in rehab I suppose) * Bit of specific individual training to finish off. * Signing off from Maroochydore. It's been a great week and a half. I realised afterwards just how much I have got out of going along each day. You definatley feel a part of it in a way and it's a real boost to the work day. * Well done MFC - now go and win some games.
  23. Fellow Demon faithful, This week we lost one of our own. My old man passed away at the age of 87. At 33 years of age myself, a quick sum in your head will tell you that there was a unique age gap between dad and me. Indeed it’s fair to say that as interests and hobbies go, we didn’t share alot of common ground. One thing we did share however was our mutual love of Australian rules football. It took until my teens for the love affair with the game and the club to truly begin, and it was at this stage that dad and I found that extra bit of common ground we always searched for. As a boy from Ballarat, dad had followed Melbourne ever since he was a lad. He would tell me about his trips to the G and the many suburban grounds, reeling off names like Mueller, Cordner and Barrassi when speaking of some of his favourite memories. Needless to say, I was impressed. Some of my fondest memories of him will be the simple pleasure of a Sunday afternoon, beers in hand, screaming at the tv in unison, be it in anger or jubilation. In the latter years as dad’s mind started to fail him, his interest waned. Some would consider him fortunate considering the plight of the club. But even during this time, he would sometimes turn to me and ask a question like... “Simon, whose that player with the long “Oooooo” name?” “Yze?” “That’s the one. Oooozey”, he’d say with a grin. The smile on his face would tell me that passion still flickered inside. As the man ultimately responsible for me being a Melbourne Demons supporter, the guy has ALOT to answer for. But I wouldn’t change it for the world, and I’m going to miss the old bloke enormously. Many of us have vented our pure disdain for the state of the club as it stands. I’ve been a prime offender. But as I watch us take on the Bombers this Saturday, for the first time in a long time, I won’t be focussing on every misdirected pass or every poor tackle, of which there could be plenty. I will be thinking about my old man, and the times I enjoyed with him just watching the footy. I don’t write this post to draw attention to anything other than to remember, this weekend and beyond, that whilst this sport and this club can form a big part of your life, it is not the be all and end all. At the end of the day, it’s a game. Cliched, but true. It will bring highs and low, maybe more lows than highs for all of us, but let’s not lose sight of that. As for Johnny, looking down, his Demon spirit will always live on through me. Cheers guys and girls. Go Dees.
  24. Just wanted to start a new thread on Jeff's 2017 form. It's outstanding. He's in elite territory this season when it comes to small forwards. 20 goals, equal to the raved about Toby Greene and Robbie Gray. 5 behind Betts who plays in the highest scoring team in the league. 35 tackles, which is miles above any forward other than Charlie Dixon (if you can believe that) with 30. Betts has 22, Gray 19, Greene 16. Not only his tackling, just his pressure in general has been fantastic, honestly like a new player, he's always chasing. Was nothing like this last year. For me his most impressive games have been in our losses, hard position to play in and he's really worked his arse off in those losses. I thought he was falling away a bit last year, but it's time he got some acknowledgement for his form of late.
  25. Beautiful morning out there - sunny with a light SW breeze. I arrived probably close to 10am and it looked like the group were just finishing their warm ups. Definitely not cancelled today! Long session... I left around 12:30pm when it was winding down, though quite a few were practicing set shots among others things. Again, more of a skills / ball drills session that finished with sprints and laps. General comments below: No sign of King, Hunt, Bail or Trengove today.ANB was back, running laps with a light strap to his knee. Good to see him again!Rehap / light duties group seemed to be White, Watts, Garland, Fitzy, Terlich and Howe. Watts, White and Howe did a few light things on the far side of the oval but spend most of the session doing laps. Bernie also did only laps I believe. Garland did drills early while Fitzy and Terlich ended up doing basically all the drills later in the session. Brayshaw left early today.First drills were all basic kicks and hand balls in pairs and then group loops with running.Great to see Kent and Hogan amongst it allIntensity then went up with contact drills - players separated into tall forwards/backs and everyone else. One midfield group was doing a ground ball gather then brace for incoming tackle and try get a handball off. Apart from that I can't actually remember too much of these drills...Next were full ground drills with players moving from one station to another and included kicks, hand balls, play on etc. These are quite interesting looking at kick accuracy as the players are under more pressure. A few errors but tidied up with minimum fuss.Full ground drills were then two teams, blues vs high viz, trying to maintain possession from a stoppage at defence and moving the ball inside 50 then goal. Lots of voice in these, either calling for the ball or directing other players into space or pointing out options. Quite fun to watch these ones. Gawn was used as an option quite a few times, covered ground and got on the end of a few to convert. Petracca was pretty good, also M Jones, Lumumba, Grimes and Hogan.A couple things stood out to me during these drills. Stretch doesn't look like a 1st year draftee - did not look out of place, just strength in a contested situation more like a draftee. Very impressed! Love Garlett's speed, not always used but provides options. Frost is quick too, a couple quick spoils. Lumumba was mainly down the other end from me but saw quite a bit of run followed by a couple long kicks. Will make an impact. Hogan just looks like he wants the ball so bad every time.After these drills most players did sprints followed by a lap of the oval.McCartney seems not to be running drills but be providing feedback to players on various aspects of what they've done such as technique and timing. Heard the word "fantastic" quite a few times as well things like "you should've committed to that lead earlier.." etc.One funny moment saw the McDonald bros in a 1 on 1 at FF during a full ground drill with TMac defending. Oscar managed to outmaneuver Tom and took a great grab. Then went back and kicked the goal to big applause and shouts like "There's a new McDonald!"Dunn got a calf strapped at one point but went back into drills. Did a lot of directing from FB during drills.Byrnes took part in the all the training today. If a remember correctly he was going to be a playing coach at Casey this year...?Love the way Jetta gets stuck into all his opponents, whether it's Dawes/Spencer or whoever he only knows one way.Salem looks such a gifted footy player, saw him take a couple one hand grabs during the ball drills. Looking forward to his 2015.People have mentioned Toump a bit lately - he looked pretty quick to me today. Plenty of running in all the drills and quite involved. Didn't stand out to me today but I don't mean that in a bad way at all as much of the group was pretty solid today.Jamar is tracking very well and is the clear no. 1 ruck at this stage, in my opinion. Stronger than the younger rucks in rucking drills, taking good grabs and running well.Also have Cross firmly in top 18, geez he's in good nick. What a great addition to the team.Petracca should definitely get opportunities this season if he continues the way he's going.Grimes, TMac, McKenzie and Salem did a intercept / 3rd man up marking drill in defence towards the end.Vandenberg took part in all the drills today and also doesn't look out of place. Improved fitness will help but a lot to work with there.Can the footy hurry up and start already...
  26. Training was underway by 9.10 when I arrived and my first port of call was rehab. Walking around to the rehab group I look for Vanders but sadly no sign. I don't think we can deduce anything from him not being there. He was fine on Monday so hopefully, and most likely, it's just managing his loads. There were three in rehab. Joney, Petty and KK. They were doing the usual running of around 100m repetitions and as always didn't seem to be in any trouble. But that was all they did for the day and they didn't do a lot. Later, Bennell and Oscar Baker made an appearance but didn't do any work that I saw although by that stage I'd moved to the other side of the ground and wasn't concentrating on rehab. There was still no sign of Spargo. So onto the drills. Across the ground from flank to flank teams of initially 8 per team would move the ball by foot from one end to the other. Lots of hard running in these drills and the kicking was okay. Later this exercise reduced to 6 and was handball only. Much more running as quick at that. There were a couple of highlights involving the new boys. The first was Kossi, nobody could catch him and his lateral movement and ability to avoid tackles was very good. His skills are also very good, natural and duel sided. The second was Rivers in the 6 player handball drill. In this drill a player was often out the back and able to run into the open "goal" and as Viney ran in Rivers took him down, hard. It was the only tackle of the sot that I saw and I reckon Viney loved it. Rivers looks very like Fritsch in his movement and physique and has similar kicking skills. Jackson was also very good in these drills. He's exceptionally athletic and is also duel sided by hand. I haven't noticed whether he has the same skill by foot. He's very quick off the mark and for a young bean pole he's really well coordinated. His ball handling is also clean and he knows how to be involved. None of the young blokes looked out of place in these drills. They moved on to a short session of match sim with some body contact by it was not fierce. Someone else may be able to explain but there are two teams but there are also two who wear white vests. No idea what the point is here but today it was CWagner and Melk. No real standouts in the match sim for me but it was brief. They then broke into four groups. One was goal kicking, one marking with the emphasis on positioning, one was clearance work and the final one was tackling, wrestling and some really gruelling exercises. This last group was exhausting just to watch but the players really seemed to enjoy it, particularly the wrestling. They finished with some running with Langdon, Jordan, Sparrow doing well but in the final 400m run around the group ANB dominated. Bedford also was very good, Neita right up there along with Hunt and Oscar. Training finished at about 11.30. With a fit list this year Casey will be fun to watch if the young blokes are playing. I'd expect Sparrow to make a bit of a run at senior footy and Neita looks likely. The last few spots in the best 22 will be interesting to see.
  27. Apologies for the lateness of this effort. Really enjoyed yesterday morning's session. Much of what I observed confirmed what we've been consistently told by our track watchers over the past couple of months. I apologise in advance for the eclectic nature of what follows. Structurally, can I just say, I love the way the coaching staff divided the session into 4 quarters with the clock clearly simulating match conditions. This is not new but seems to be of increasing focus.The session was very much game sim driven and the large crowd appreciated that. The coaching staff really impress me. Transitions from drill to drill are sharp. Preparation was never found wanting. Feedback was delivered swiftly but they never lingered too long. Heart rates were always maintained. Crossy was fantatstic with the rehab group but this is news to nobody. The level of onfield leadership seems to have gone to another level. I love watching our senior leaders instructing small groups with line managing assistants watching on to ensure the appropriate messages are being delivered and then engaging only when necessary. The vibe in the team is excellent. They're driving each other, challenging each other. Viney and Gawn excelling in this area. The physicality is good. An occasional skirmish is a healthy sign. The gameplan is definitely being drilled into this team. As mentioned by the Melbourne-based reporters, the play on, quick ball movement is evident. The metronome app confirmed that the accompanying music was maintained between the 120 and 125 beats per minute range and the style of play seemed to mimic the tempo. I'd like to think our coaching staff are this switched on. Let's just pretend that this was indeed an intentional decision. Disappointing that five key members of our best 22 are in the rehab group. Hibberd, Jetta, Tyson, Brayshaw and Kent all look close to resuming and certainly got a solid workout in the hot and steamy conditions. Oscar McDonald and Sam Weideman are building nicely. Whilst still some way from AFL key position size they've both taken obvious and considerable steps towards adding the necessary kgs. More importantly both are attacking training in a really focused way. You sense they feel they belong and know that there are spots in our best 22 waiting for them to consolidate. Jay Kennedy-Harris was an absolute standout for me. He looks really fit and his one touch play was great to watch. His hands are beautiful and he brought a real energy to the session. Aaron vandenberg seemed to be everywhere. Only saw him turn it over once. One of the real positives of the session was the quality ball use I observed from players with a question mark in that area. vandenberg used it really well as did Harmes and Hunt. Hunt was the other highlight for me. He's been a favourite for some time but this session confirmed everything we outsiders have been hearing on Demonland. His linking player is critical and the team is clearly being coached to look for him. His line-breaking pace was electric as always but his disposal at the end of these runs was pleasingly efficient. Neal-Bullen made some mistakes unfortunately, as did some of our first and second year players. Billy Stretch will play round 1. Hogan looked great. His kicking routine, for me, however, is all over the place. At one stage, he was practicing his routine during a short break and his run up looked exactly like last year. 5 minutes later during game sim his routine looked completely different. What was consistent, however, was the outcome. He wasn't missing many today. I don't care what the routine looks like to be honest as long his efficiency returns to 2015 levels and we don't have to discuss it on here every second week when he misses a couple! Of the newcomers, Pat McKenna impressed me. He's a really good size and battled manfully against Pedersen in a really demanding contested/wrestling/leading/repeat effort drill. He looks almost as tall and almost as strong as Pedersen. We have some really options in defence now. Pedersen, as advertised, is noticeably fitter but still very broad and strong across the shoulders. It's great to see but also raises the question why it has taken this many pre-seasons at Melbourne to get to this point. Like others, Maynard just looks a player to me. It's like he's entering his seventh or eighth pre-season. Hulett took some nice grabs and the Casey graduates both looked at home. I was keen to isolate Jack Trengove to see if I could notice any discernable improvement in his speed and acceleration. As others have noted it's difficult in training to do so but at one point when he really put his foot down to find space it appear he did so with more ease than last season. Wishful thinking perhaps. The real highlight for me was a few tackles. Jack Watts received ample congratulations when he brought down the skipper trying to exit the defensive footy. The boys really do love him and Melksham brought down Hogan in impressive style earlier in the session. Pedersen pulled off a Watts and ran down Harmes when he was trying to clear the ball also. Great to see our key position players doing the less glamorous things at the tail end of a gruelling three hour session. At the end of the session Oscar McDonald and Billy Stretch seemed to be receiving some extra praise. Maybe they both received the Goody Fifty. Morale within the group was clear for all to see. Autograph signing and the mingling with the kids is always awesome. The kids and the families keep coming back and this part of the day must play a huge role. The Maroochydore camp and this open session is turning into a nice little tradition. Happy to respond to any questions about any individuals you might have.
  28. So went to my first training ever, was with my brother and my 16 month old kid, had an unexpected week back in Oz. I presumed there were some landers about but didn't have a clue to say hello too. We got there just as they were setting up. This is not exhaustive but the people we didn't see were Lumumba, Watts, Trengove, (Garland was doing the Tan), Pedersen, Gartlett and Lewis. Stayed till the end. Some additional comments about the running: Oliver looks like he has the most work of anyone to do fitness wise. It was a reminder that you are nude on the running track when the coaches are watching, there is no place to hide. He copped a very steady eyeball from Goodwin but was given some verbal encouragement at the end by everyone. Trac went out to hard early and was shot, when he finished last in the last lap he punched the ground and said 'I suck' he was not joking. There was love for him but you can tell he is driven, I do not expect him to be last for long, his thighs are amazing, he looks like he should be in a Marvel film. He wastes a huge amount of energy with his running style, being such a big unit I reckon he should cop some specialist coaching he will find speed from improved efficiency. Angus looks settled. Jones has the most perfect gait, he was torching Kent and he was running the wider track, is looking super fit. Kent is a solid unit, I really hope he can lift his defensive efforts this season, it is where I think he can really make a name for himself with his strength. Neal-Bullen is trying to be a small forward, (work in progress) his running is elite, he is not going to die wondering about his place, he is certainly trying to make the senior squad. Kennedy was 'clumsy' (this is by AFL standard) today, he seemed to have the yips when he was kicking for goal. He also is far from fit enough for the midfield at this stage. Melksham is a pretty ordinary kick, no better than McDonald, looks lean though. Hibbered was ok, the two category B rookies (names escape me Smith's son and the other one who were basketballers) both looked like they belong, could see them being players. Tom McDonald is a machine doing laps, fresh scar tissue on his shoulder on it is still angry from whenever it was done (I've never seen it without tape before). Coaches: Cross still looks like he should be playing and I'm sorry to say he is fitter than about 3/4 of the list. McCarthy was very verbal and chatting over the fence, unsolicited he offered that they were teaching them everything and made some quite negative comments about the Neeld era. He also mentioned that they are teaching the new coaches as well. I didn't get a read on Goodwin. I could see that he was taking the most interest in the contested drills. The culture was very positive in general I didn't see any sniping. Gawn has an amazing confidence and an even better desire to learn, no sign of hubris at all, very reassuring that his approach genuinely seems to be 'I will get better'. Stafford the ruck coach won a contest after McCarthy miskicked it, his words (first one in a hundered that I've won). Everything Gawn did he had a go, he was also doing some drills with Jetta who I rate highly but he was not going 100 % there were a few who seemed to be on various restrictions. Was a pleasure to see them using the footies, is funny I had always thought everyone would be a superstar in practise with the footy but you can see the decision makers from those that react and those that are natural kicks and those that are not mirror match play. Salem is the best kick we have, doesn't quite have the hoof of Bernie (and we are talking a shade of difference) but there is something about Salems hands, when he receives the ball there is this micro adjustment and the ball is perfectly centred in his hands (running or still) ready for the shortest ball drop of any we saw today. Has a very nice draw to his kick as well. While I was already a wrap for Salem, if he gets a tank he could be a more industrious Yze, didn't realise how much upside he had till i saw him kicking in person (my brother and I spent the afternoon trying to mimic his ball drop ) Hunt is bigger than I thought he would be. Hogan's stutter step isn't as bad in the flesh, he moves well but he really needs to go to a lab, he is still not kicking through the ball from a set shot, as soon as he does he will get another 15-20m distance. Still jet lagged, if I remember other stuff will write it up.
  29. Don't post here a lot - long time reader. Reading some of the reactions to the game yesterday both on here and in particular the club's Facebook feed, I feel compelled to post as I'm just so sick of this club's supporters. And yes, I've been through it all so don't say I haven't done the hard time. Today was an entirely predictable result and the sky is not falling in. We came off a 4.5 day break and errors were made at the selection table for not refreshing the squad. Young teams struggle with short turnarounds. It was clear to all watching that from mid-way through the first quarter after the adrenaline had worn off that we were not covering the ground either in offence or defence. Lots of hands on hips/heads at the breaks. Our new game style is high risk, high reward, and extremely taxing. We played a team that had the speed to exploit this on their fast home track. Our short turnaround resulted in us looking sluggish and disinterested (I don't think this was actually the case and the effort was there). Our fortunes rise and fall with Max Gawn and he has often struggled against Hickey in the past. Mobile, tall tap ruckmen are his weakness, and Hickey is very much in this mould. Max is far more effective against the brutes/undersized rucks like Maric and Grundy (coincidentally when he starred). He's played 40 games and if he continues with his rate of improvement, it wont be long before he has no weaknesses at all. Our team is extremely young and one of the youngest in the league. Our half back line relied on two players who have played less than 5 games and they look to a 30-gamer (Salem) for leadership. We played 3 players with less than 5 games each which is a lot to carry when our 'experienced' players are 50 gamers. Petracca was overawed - hard for a first gamer to play in a team that was evidently tired. We don't match up well on the Saints in the same way we always match up very well against Richmond. Their midfield is quick (ours is not), their forwards are mobile and their backmen are experienced. To those who say that we should be able to play the same way against any team - an extremely simplistic view that fails to consider the variation of players/teams across the league. Anyone who has played any sport knows that there are always certain types of players/teams that you struggle against. Not to say we should just accept defeat - but needs to be understood. The saints only really scored on the counter/over the back - it isn't as if we were soundly beaten in every single area of the ground. We had one key deficiency they exploited, but we still kicked 100 odd points with about 10 passengers. This is progress and a simple fix. Until we have 100+ games into Trac, Brayshaw, Kent, Harmes, Viney, Tyson, Gawn, Kennedy, Oliver, ANB, VDB, Hunt, Wags, Frost, Salem etc. - we can expect to see this type of inconsistency. We will continue to have good weeks and bad weeks. The competition is very even and we saw today that a few passengers makes it hard to win. Our experienced players were poor, yes, and this is the most disappointing part. Don't forget that TMac and Lumumba were a big part of our good footy the last two weeks. The overreactions on here, and particularly Facebook are not warranted. We did NOT lose because the players spoke of confidence and finals. What do you expect? If we are ever going to improve, we will need to learn to deal with increased expectation and positive media. It is part of the journey and to those saying that we should never say these things again - you are effectively wishing for another 10 years of misery at the bottom. The reactions by our supporter base are a significant part of the problem with this club and believe it or not we do have an impact on each other and on the perception of the club. For us to be successful we need long periods of coaching stability and low player turnover, and the worst thing we can do as a supporter base is cry foul and force changes in this regard. There will be good weeks, there will be bad weeks, and we know there will be good media and a fair amount of bad media. I would think after 15 years of pain most would be pleased we are finally playing a reasonable brand and scoring. Apparently not. People need to understand that the majority of good sides never win a flag, and in all likelihood this side won't either. My hope is we become good enough for perhaps a 5 year period where we are top 4 and respected and I will enjoy this time if it comes. In the meantime I'm going to enjoy the ups and the downs and regardless of our performance, the moments and incidents that make the game and being an AFL supporter great (like Hogan's 7 today). We are improving. Shut out the noise, stay the course and keep calm.
  30. I was there. Watched behind the perimeter fence on far wing. So good to see live action! observations: - 4x 25 min quarters no time on played -Lots of swapping of players between the two teams -Lever Pruess Petty KK and Nietscke only 5 who didn’t play - May starred, BOG easily -Bennell played all 4 quarters, 1st half on ball 2nd half on HFF -Spargo did some great things, I’m not always a fan but he looked at the level today -Fritsch was the best forward -J Smith will be close to selection, either if Lever doesn’t come up or instead of O Mac. - I rate Sparrow. HIGHLY!! Head to head with Viney all game and not a backward step taken. - No injuries during the game to anyone. Relief! - Rivers and Hibberd were in a showdown for the final HBF spot. Both played well today - Dont expect to see any of the two Wagners, or Baker early in season. They look like the last in line depth players to me - Actually think Bradtke showed he can play. 20% better than his Casey 2019 form - Goalkicking am issue, but expect it will be for all 18 clubs next weekend till the season gets into its rhythm - Hunt looks out of favour - My biggest take - get on Brayshaw for a return to form. Played with no helmet, and moved and hunted the ball like it was 2018 again. Happy to answer questions
  31. Arrived around 10am and the session was just about in full swing. I’ll try my best as my fingers are frozen. The first thing I noticed was no rehab group. Lever, Hunt and Maynard the obvious absentees. Kent a no show also but overhead he might be lining up at Casey this week and was to train with them. Great to see McKenna and Vanders in the main group with the latter looking really sharp and vocal. I was surprised to see Vanders move as well as he did. A lot of encouragement throughout the session and it was a solid hitout. A lot of short drills in duration but no lack of intensity. To me it looked like the session was built up around rapid ball movement and frequent switching with players supporting the receivers for options. Skills were very good in somewhat slippery conditions. Good luck with selection as some of the players pushing for a spot this week were certainly a highlight. T Smith and Frost very clean and strong with marking. Interestingly, Frost was used as a leading forward in some drills and was excellent overhead and kicked accurately from distance. He took J Smith to school a few times one on one. A drill I found interesting was one of the centre square setups. I believe it was Filipovic used as the ruck with Max used as a blocking midfielder and his opponents had to find their way around him and win the ball. He didn’t let up on them. Another Max highlight was his 50 metre chase on Baker. He didn’t catch him but never gave up and was actually gaining on him by the end. Everyone around us commented at the effort that Max put in. That’s what you want to see from your leaders even if it’s just a training session. Brilliant work. Dion Johnstone was very good with his kicking and it was good to see him up close. Hopefully he gets a chance soon, I liked what I saw. I am a Tyson fan and want him back in the side but unsure if it will be this week. Looks bereft of confidence especially with his kicking. Missed a few targets where other players hit theirs. Towards the end of the session Jesse, Weid, Pedersen and T Mac were having the ball kicked to them and competing one on one. They swapped over every kick with each winning their fair share of contests. The other forwards, Melksham, Fritsch, Bugg, Garlett, Spargo and Hannan were setup around the goal square. A kick would come in and one of them had to deliberately tap the ball to ground whilst the others would try to rove it or pick it up cleanly from the deck. Garlett was very clean and smart around goals. A couple of times he kicked the ball off the ground truly as his opponents were too close for him to pick it up. Didnt see much of the defenders drills as they were on the other side of the ground so apologies for that. It was basically a full squad out there and impossible to keep track of all. Trac ran some solid laps after the session was finished. Happy to answer any questions as best I can.
  32. Attended the pregame function in Canberra today. Brendan McCartney was the guest speaker. He was super impressive. Here are some of the points he made . . . We are getting it right 85 percent of the time – flags are won by teams that get it right 90 percent of the time No team ever operates at 100 percent – that’s a fallacy Often he can tell who’s going to win a grand final within two minutes of the opening bounce based on how many numbers are at the ball and mistakes made Numbers at the connect is what counts – bad teams have players that leave the contest too early or arrive to late You know the side is playing well when you leave a contest and the opponent is on the ground Pressure acts must be executed with the body close to the ball/opponent (i.e. not with the arms out stretched and the body at a distance from the pressure act) The Melbourne game style is based on a ‘physical’, style of game – hard to play but ultimately successful in finals Teams that don’t play a physical style (he said there were six at the moment) will be found out in September Young, low profile coaching group and it’s a deliberate approach to keep media profile low Under pressure, players default to their ‘instinctive’ way of playing (this was in reference to a question about Jack Watts) Players attend around 16 meetings a week Players review clips of their performance Most players are able to provide accurate self-analysis of their performance Videos are made and reviewed of training sessions and more is often learnt from these than game footage His role is one of mentoring and assisting the assistant coaches – often sitting in on their meetings with players Goody’s role is confined as much as possible to the players and game day (90 percent of his time) the other 10 percent is meetings with the board or managers etc. A club is operating well when it can find good players low down in the draft (in reference to Maynard) Priority has been to recruit players “who love the contest” The players are acutely aware of how their performances effect the supporters Many players who were treated poorly by the club a few years ago are now around the club (McDonald was mentioned) Most professionally run club he’s been involved with The club has provided a lot of education about the history of the MFC to the players and they all love the place At any one time a maximum of 90 percent of the players will be buying into the game plan or coaching philosophy and anyone who says they have 100 percent buy in is kidding themselves All players are given full and frank information about their performance and no player can claim to be in any doubt about the standards required from the club (both on and off the field) and how their contribution is measured When asked about why the players do “dump things” he said footy teams are like any other endeavor where people management is involved . . . just because a coach (CEO/manager/parent) directs something to be done (example sighted was kicking long with the wind last week), it doesn’t mean they will/can execute it
  33. Hi guys, long time reader, first time poster. Went to have a look at training this morning. Impressions as follows: - very light session focused on skills and touch - a few drills where they broke into several groups aimed at hitting up a player quickly in congestion with a 25 metre pass, with half of the players the attacking targets and the other half (wearing pink bibs) the defenders looking to spoil - Tyson surprisingly sharp here with his passes (his foot skills are underrated) - Melky and Hibberd doing laps and kick to kick. Neither looked overly impeded, although both still look to be around 90% - Viney doing laps in sneakers - looked to be running well with no obvious discomfort - Oliver and Petracca very close and love each other’s company - lots of man love between those two - Petracca’s kicking for goal not as sharp as it could be, trajectory seems a bit ’stabby’ at times (similar to Melksham). I wonder if the same traits that make both of them excellent field kicks somewhat impede them when kicking for goal - Gawn looked to be moving very well and participated fully in all drills - will definitely play - Vince on the sidelines with Todd Viney and a few others looking on, felt a bit sorry for him but probably the right call to give him a rest - Hunt looked good, but kicking skills still need a bit more polish - Harmes still had his glove but was looking super confident and was regularly landing 45 metre goals off a step from boundary. Taken another big step this year. Seems like a really nice bloke too - I was on the fence watching them kick for goal and he made a point of coming out to where I was to say g’day and how my morning was going Really positive vibe and energy around the place - lots of camaraderie, laughter and encouragement. Great to see. Go Dees!
  34. Went to training with my 2 year old son, so may have missed a few things, but hally to try and answer questions where I can. Hogan trained for the first 2/3 of the session, sometimes in the main group, sometimes doing things off to the side. Left the track earlier though. was told he WILL play though. The training itself was pretty basic, but they were working pretty hard and trying to work on some specifics. Could see they were working on their kicking skills, practicing all types ignored kicks in a drill. Also spent a fair bit of time in their groups, doing specific work on their areas. Such as backs doing 1 on 1 stuff and practicing punching/ marks etc. was really impressed with Oscar in those drills. Surprisingly. Jetta was the best small defender in the 1 on 1's. the final drill was more game based with 10 on 10 or so. Practicing pressing up as defenders and trying to cause turnovers, while the forwards were working on quick ball movement, short/ hard passes through the middle and getting out the back or a quick goal. They had to work really hard in this drill as there wasn't much rest. Overall was a simple session, but I was impressed with a few. Notably Oscar on defence, weideman also showed me a bit. Looked much bigger and more athletic to me. Of the current players in the side, I like harmes and petracca with their speed and power and skill and fritsch trained well too. Finally, spoke to my club source. He said that they won't change much this week. Most likely ins are frost and Kent if anything, but they need to find someone to drop (i know many of us have opinions on who that should be) and some of the borderline guys did well last week. Guys such as bugg/ Wagner etc. will always be the ones on the block. Also heard that they are very excited with weideman and his progress, so when he is fitter (considering he missed some of the pre season) he will come in as a forward / ruck. Apologies for any mistakes as this was done on my phone while the son sleeps!!
  35. Umpires helped us a lot. Oscar was VAFA in the first half but All Australian in the second. Fitting that Watts kicked the sealer, an excellent goal at that. Tyson does himself no favours. Team selection still wrong despite the win. On a personal note, Mini Bizkit was born a few days ago, bought her membership last night so today she was our good luck charm.
  36. Howie got his wish to spend more time in the Melbourne forward line.
  37. (Disclaimer: no offence is intended by the below. Just a bit of tongue in cheek to round off the week) Q: What colour is the sky? old dee: The sky is still blue after all this time will it ever change? i'll believe it when I see it rpfc: The sky might be blue right now, but it is naive to expect this is going to change overnight. We must accept that while others have a starry night sky, or a red dusk, or a pink dawn, our sky is blue, and it will remain blue until some significant changes to the way in which the air scatters the sunlight are made. These changes will take time. Ron Burgundy: The sky is the best thing that has happened to us in a long time. I have total faith in it. I love the sky. Satyriconhome: actually chap, I know where the sky is at and so does God. In fact when my lovely lady and I were talking to God the other day we spoke about the sky. I just like to entertain myself on here with all you keyboard heroes who think you know the sky better than God and I. WYL: it's still blue and it's still falling. When are we going to see change? How much longer are we going to put up with this incompetent sky? Webber: I thought I'd correct some of the statements being made in here regarding the sky's colour which are just plain incorrect. Except for light that comes directly from the sun, most of the light in the day sky is caused by scattering, which is dominated by a small-particle limit called Rayleigh Scattering. The scattering due to molecule sized particles (as in air) is greater in the forward and backward directions than it is in the lateral direction. Scattering is significant for light at all visible wavelengths, but it is stronger at the shorter (bluer) end of the visible spectrum; meaning that that the scattered light is more blue than its source, the sun. The sky can turn a multitude of colors such as red, orange, purple and yellow (especially near sunset or sunrise) when the light must pass through a much longer path (or optical depth) through the atmosphere. Scattering effects also partially polarize light from the sky, most pronounced at an angle 90° from the sun. Scattered light from the horizon travels through as much as 38 times the atmosphere as light from the zenith, causing it to lose blue components, causing a blue gradient: vivid at the zenith, and pale near the horizon. Because red light also scatters if there is enough air in between the source and the observer, these longer wavelengths of light will also scatter significantly, making parts of the sky change color during sunset. ENYAW: why does the sky do what it did? It just hangs there? I watch and think the sky, is not what it was 10 years ago. get the clouds to move to a different part of the sky ? dee-luded: the sky, forever changing, never constant. maybe someone else wants to offer up a bigger sacrifice to the sky?? just a thought Bitter but optimistic: bugger the sky I say! Who needs the sky when there is alcohol and women to consume! hogans heroes: The sky is pathetic. The clouds are hopeless and the sun is a loser. I hope the sky burns in hell for what it has done (three weeks later) The sky is absolutely beautiful. Redleg: The sky is still blue after all these years and it's about time we stood up to God and told him to change it. picket fence: The sky is blue but the clouds aren't puffy enough! Plus we need more rainbows! I propose we switch some clouds for rainbows! Just my view! rjay: That is an interesting question that you pose 'P-Man'. I think it is blue but I also think it can be a variety of other colours that we don't get to see as often. Machsy: Are you serious? How can you not know that? That is just about the stupidest question I've ever been asked. The sky? Seriously?? Jumbo returns: The sky is still blue and I am very skeptical of this God fella. I will wait to see what he does to change the colour of the sky before I sing his praises. Jaded: I stood underneath the sky yesterday while it rained. I stood there, wondering why I bother watching it while it pours down. But I'll be there again next week. Standing underneath it. Hoping it won't rain. Ben Hur: I could explain it to you but you wouldn't understand.
  38. Hey all, I've lurked around this site and 'ology for couple of years now, never really felt like I had anything to add. My 5 year old is also battling cancer and was lucky enough to receive a visit from Col Sylvia a few weeks ago. Col was great and spent well over an hour with Seb, never seemed rushed or gave any indications that he would want to be anywhere else. Seb had already been through several rounds of Neuro surgery that week but was all smiles that day. In conversation Seb admitted that his favourite player was not Colin, but Jack Watts. Upon hearing this Colin personally organised for Jack to come in the following week. Jack again spent well over an hour with Seb, at a time he was plugged into a dialysis machine harvesting his stem cells. Again there were smiles in a most difficult time. Jack was also very honest and spoke candidly about his relationship with Neeld, who had already been dismissed. Both players demonstrated to me that they carry enormous compassion and to lose either would have a real negative impact on Off the field as much as on. After these recent experiences it makes me sad to read so many posters on here so keen to cut them adrift
  39. His wife secretly filmed it without knowing.. So bloody good!
  40. A brief look in today. Officially a closed session I think so no media around. Gawn back on the track look good. Lots of small group drills. Practising contested marking, forward line movement, tackling, ground balls, spoils, short kicks inside 50, long bombs deep inside 50. The lot. Different coaches doing different drills and getting to work. Probably the most interesting bit was the running. Bugg, Maynard, Joel Smith, McKenna all went back to AAMI. As did Tommy Mc, Melksham and JKH who were in the rehab group. A group of Gawn, Hunt, Weideman, Hulett, Kennedy, Frost were doing timed 200m runs down the Punt road wing. Gawn just keeps pounding as the got in to the repetitions. Frosty started to struggle. The others battled on well. Dean Kent and Nath Jones were doing the same on the city side wing. Kent stuck with Jones for a few. Then Jones sat out and Cross took over pacing Kenty, he was working hard. Meanwhile the midfielders who doing longer timed runs varying from half a lap to 1 lap to a few laps. ANB led out most of them with White towards the front. Brayshaw was really strong as they went longer with Jones especially encouraging him (and all the guys) to step it up. Wagner, Salem, Harmes, Stretch were all running well and not far from the front and mixing the order with the first few depending on the individual set. That's the good news. I guess the less positive news was that Oliver was dropped early in the quicker repeats and Petracca was gapped as well. I was impressed by Max Rooke who took it upon himself to run with Clarry and then Troy Chaplin joined in too for a few laps. They had a big long run to finish and Oliver tried pretty hard to stay up to the group and then Tracc was back behind him, they were probably 100m or so behind over the course of 3 or so laps. Both are just heavier in the legs than most of our players and they run like it. To take the glass half full approach it really was impressive what both boys did last year at AFL level coming off limited preseasons and fitness bases. They got plenty of encouragement from the coaches and both shared a high five when the running was done.
  41. Got there at 10:10 by which time Jones, KK, Petty, Tomlinson, Baker were finishing up. So no idea how much or how little they did. Joel Smith was in the proper match jumper but he was done by then as well. No Spargo, no Vanders, no Kade Chandler as far as I could tell. Viney in runners and sat out the match sim and the running, but was walking from side to side as the mids did 300m repeats runs to pump them up. Dunkley another to miss the match sim and running. Salem was also on light duties and sat out the match sim and just did some touch work with the 3 draftees. And May and Lever finished up before the running. Hopefully just a matter of taking it easy with a lot of guys now they've banked some decent training. Lots of grappling work in different groups. Fritsch again sat it out - assuming due to a taped shoulder - and did double goal kicking. A couple of extended forward groups including Preuss, Gawn and Oliver did goal kicking. In pairs, one kicks to the lead then mans the mark whilst the other takes the set shot. Pickett has a lovely kick to a lead and is a nice goal kicker despite enjoying shuffle steps and looping the ball around. Jackson has a nice simple set shot routine that seems to work well for him. Defenders did some kicking drills and I was impressed by Hore kicking low and hard on his preferred left boot and Rivers also nicely hitting targets. Nietschke certainly not as pretty but under minimal pressure it gets to where it needs to go. They were rotating through some pretty willing handball drills when I first got there, about 7 on 7, aiming to move the ball about 60m to then score a goal before it went back the other way. Missed handball or anyone touched and it was a turnover. Petracca and Oliver the standouts in various teams. Bedford had some errors but also a few nice moments when he could show his elusiveness. Jetta was heavily involved. Lockhart was busy. This was the type of drill that was just completely missing from last year and whilst there were plenty of moments where the ball was turned over it was nice to see at other times the players really hustling up and back. We might just have some midfield transition this year! Match sim was done in 2 groups - blue v green, with 2 players - Melksham and Corey Wagner in the white bibs going both ways. The blues were the starters and had Lever, May and Jetta down back and Fritsch, T Mc, ANB forward, Gawn, Oliver, Petracca mid and some others. Melksham was standout - unsurprisingly given he was going both ways - but he had a number of nice kicks on both sides. The aim was to get a mark inside 15m and Fritsch was the number 1 target, got on the end of a few but Hore and Hibberd made nice spoils at other times. At the other end Steve May went fairly and not recklessly through poor Bradtke at one stage which got a nice high 5 from Lever. Petracca was busy and went on a number of quality runs. Nice to see him bouncing with his left hand. Nietschke had a number of smart intercepts dropping back from a wing/flank position. I watched a few repeats of the running. With the mids doing repeat 300's (or whatever about 3/4's of Gosch's is maybe 250) Jordon and Sparrow again led the way with Petracca, Gus, Gawn, Oliver not far behind then a bit of a gap to big Preussy who was clearly feeling it. From the backs and forwards who were going end to end there were plenty - Nietschke, ANB, Fritsch, C Wagner, Bedford, T Mc pushing hard. Lockhart was one who wasn't exactly getting dropped but fitness probably isn't his strong suit. Trent Rivers casually loaded up a nice torp for a bit of fun from about 65-70 out off a couple of steps that landed on the goal line. Kozzy had a go that finished about 15m short.
  42. Just had a long chat to Crossy. Said place is unrecognisable from when he arrived. The definitive news from him on Lever’s return is around round 9 to 10. In relation to that debate about Trac’s condition and weight. I just mentioned he has a solid build. He responded that’s his build. Said he just ran his PB in the 2km time trial. His skin folds are excellent. He said they are being very careful with Viney. They don’t want to rush him back and have him back in rehab. The ankle surgery is just taking the normal amount of time to recover and they are also managing the foot etc. Hes expecting most rehabers to be back in main group by end of next weeks camp. He said coming back from a shortened pre season if anything is a bit of a bonus. He said it’s a really long pre season when you come back October or early November. You can feel cooked by the beginning of the season. They all have their off season programs and come back ready to go. Tom Sparrow is the stand out of the young players for him. Said he reminds him of Viney when he first came in. Training done. Thats it for me. Got to head off. Will try to answer any questions later.
  43. #thereturn - felt like I needed to supply more training reports this summer hey? A lot has changed since the previous occasion I was at Melbourne training, which going back, is now a bloody long time ago. Labour Day this year. So much has happened in my life now – it looks like I’ve got a gig at AFL Vic next year at this stage, I’m just about done with uni and the next stage of my life is set to be written. So I get here at precisely 2:10 – 20 minutes early, which is okay because 1) I get a coveted spot with shade because it’s a very warm day, and 2) others are here too. Camera crews have basically been set up, the personnel are here and the Melbourne shade is up. Yep, I’m at the right place and I’m here at the right time. As for the camera crews, I’m keen to see which station they are for. A camera man is here and he curiously has a lot of Glenn Maxwell about him (mind you without the beard). Anyway, less jibberish and more actual reporting which is what I’m meant to be doing. Anyway, there’s been a number of changes so far throughout this off season and there’s more to come. Out of the lineup goes Howe, Cross, McKenzie, Riley, Bail, Toumpas and Fitzpatrick, while in to the side (at this stage with draft picks still to come) include Bugg, Kennedy, Melksham and Smith. Melksham, as I already covered, won’t be here today, even though it is optional for other players to make their way across and train with the first to fourth year players (I’ll cover which ones are optionally here today below). The first players out for pre-season are Vandenberg and Garland. Vandenberg has bright orange wheels which are almost as bright as my lime green ones. After those two, the rest of the boys make their way across. Garland and Tom Mc I believe are the only two who have come here optionally to do some extra training, which is a truly excellent sign. These two genuinely love the club. Our good mate Stevo is here too to report on the session for Channel 7. For reference if needed, the first two out on the track were CP5 and ANB. After a very short kickabout, the boys go and start off with a short little run. Few rugby passes out and about – it’s not State of Origin lads! – and a few stretches start us off. There’s about 25 players on the track, including the likes of Hogan, Brayshaw, Viney and Tyson as well. Eventually I’ll go through a few more. Petracca’s doing a modified program at this stage compared to the rest of the group – I imagine that this is related to the final preparations that he has to go under before joining the main group full stop. Regardless he’s looking bigger than he was last year and he was already pretty big last year! Good sign. Also another who noticeably looks bigger compared to the last time I saw him is Salem. Anyway our main man CP5 is off to jaunt on his own regime at the moment given the recovery from his knee. We’re taking every precaution at this stage and he’s off to the adjacent fields to do his own work while the rest of them are together. Kennedy is out here for his first training session with the boys and when he beats (I think Stretch) in a small contest that the boys are doing a couple of the boys shout out “YES BEN!!!” Good start to his time here, hopefully he develops some friendships very quickly. Regardless the first drill sees the coaches roll the ball across the ground where there’s two players trying to beat the other to the footy. Basically it’s more of an upper body drill where one man is trying to push the other off. There’s four separate groups, and in fact there is also one using soccer balls. I can’t properly explain that, best ask Misso. I guess to provide more clarification the four groups are in rotation drills, so you have the ones which I’ve described clearly, as well as a couple of overhead marking contests on the far side of the ground. The majority of players are in the two groups closest to us, while the far groups are made up of two lots of four. As the boys embark on a brief break I take a look at the crowd, it’s certainly building and the club has done a good job with advertising this session. I would say at this stage there’s about 60 people, which would be more than anywhere else I reckon. The next activity is more strength based and sees groups of two pulling each other with those rope things that they tie around their waste. Notable pairings include Hogan and TMac, while Harmes is dragging Jack Viney around. Two groups of longer distance running follows. Leading the first group which starts nearest to where I’m stationed is White and Stretch, with Hogan up the back. Meantime Kenty is killing it in the second group. King is up the back of this one. The first group of runners are more tightly bunched together and pacing themselves really well. Joel Smith appears to be up the front of his group, while Oscar McDonald is working hard to get in front of Kenty. It’s also really encouraging to see Frost running around with the boys. The news we really needed to see/hear after 4-6gate in 2015. The boys are still going ahead of the six minute deadline. BK is working super hard to ensure that he’s maintaining a solid pace. Meantime JKH has assumed leadership of his group and has really come home strongly. Harmes is also finishing off strongly as he walks past, streaming by Jayden Hunt. CP5 watch on the other ground and he is moving super strongly. It’s really good to see. I’m hoping he develops into more of the Josh Kennedy mould (the Sydney one that is). Brayshaw comes back after (I assume) a bit of an absence, while Tom McDonald did his own little thing while the boys were running… I presume to avoid embarrassment amongst the others because he always kills it doing the running drills. After a bit of a walk around the oval the boys are back into the groove a little bit and are having a drink of water. For now that leaves me on complete CP5 watch. The bloke is doing it completely easy on the other field at the moment as a few actually turn around and watch him go about it. He is really moving well considering his recovery from his ACL and he seems to be confident of a few directional changes. I would say he’s going at about 80% at the moment which is about right for his stage in the development. He’s also kicking about 30-35m off one step with relative ease. There are, admittedly, a couple of shanks when he kicks it but otherwise he’s doing just fine and is also finding the confidence to jump for marks too. Hogan joins him later on and he does that familiar waddle over. Dunno why he left, maybe he just exorcised his rights as a God to do whatever the hell he wants. Extraordinarily I’m seeing people actually shifting their attention – quite a few – to Hogan and Petracca. Anyway this all happens while the boys are changing into their footy boots, with a bit of footy going on now. Firstly there’s a bit of a brief kick, before more of a base which sees a full-blown contest between two teams utilising handball. That’s on one side of the ground, anyway. On the other side there’s a kicking drill at the moment and the focus is on a switch, followed by a kick down the line. On the near side which is where the handball drill is going on, the hunger is intense in the players’ eyes. You can hear it and see it. For the first day of pre season they’ve been pretty strong skill wise. There aren’t too many shanks which is impressive because it’s a reasonably difficult day conditions wise. Hot day, swirly wind about. JKH gets Frost in a tackle – you can tell Frosty is trying to get back into the swing of things after missing a lot of training as well as footy. It’ll take a little while but he’ll get there. Pause – I need a drink… Getting a drink at this point isn’t too bad. Firstly I don’t miss much as I go down to Edwin’s (which at this point is closing up), secondly I still walk past and get to see how Hogan and Petracca are holding up. Hoges’ is okay and there’s nothing wrong with him (I presume they are just looking after him due to his importance), he’s having set shots and actually uncharacteristically misses one. Petracca in the meantime was talking to one of his mates (I presume from basketball – nobody understands how good he actually was – he has his own mixtape on YouTube), before heading off. He walks past me, eyes glued to his phone. As I come back the boys are split into two groups where there are two teams, with the aim to retain the ball by foot. The ball use is decent at this stage by the near group, with only two foot errors so far in about five minutes. During this drill, I get the information that the boys will be having a training camp in Seaford soon, and will head back up to Maroochydore in January (I presume during the Australian Open). So there’s one for fans up Seaford way and as well as our Queensland friends. Meantime the boys are having a bit of a break after this kicking drill thing. Hogan’s running around behind me on the soccer ground, which has been kindly vacated by Melbourne Victory because they’re probably thinking they can soccer better than everyone else while holding all three trophies at once. Anyway, the drill continues on opposite wings this time, after previously being inside both 50s. The most impressive performers for mine so far include Tommy Mc, who is continuing to mature as a leader and is being as smart as ever with his positioning, running off his man and ball use, JKH, who has a new found hunger for the contest, I’m presuming he’s going to go after a big pre-season after losing his spot in the side, and ANB, who’s been classy by foot so far today under pressure. In the meantime Frost has shown how much he’s missed, with his first kick missing the mark and his decision making a bit skewed at the moment. Joel Smith is still a while away too from getting into the groove – gets the ball during one of these drills and panics a little bit, before missing the return handball. On the other side of the ground, Terlich takes on (I think) White, but gets tackled. A good show of speed from White but Terlich needed to get rid of it. Obviously Terls needs a big pre-season and force his way into the 22 somehow, otherwise he’s off the list given he runs out of contract. Some more running follows this and this running drill is similar to what they did last year. Run half way through, then run down the ground, turn, run back. Three separate groups are out and about. Tom McDonald is fastest of the first group with ease (because who else was going to be?) with Viney second. Impressively, Tommy Bugg (first training session today) is amongst the top three or four. Brother Oscar is fastest of the second group as he looks to maintain his spot in the best 22 over summer. ANB is quickest of the third group. On the second run for each group it’s a McDonald sweep again, while Harmes is quickest of the third group. TMac’s doing it easy. Third run. No need to tell you who are quickest of the first two groups. In the third group, Tyson and Harmes run it pretty close but it’s the former who gets home quickest in the end. As we get to the fourth run, TMac again is quickest. Joel Smith is starting to struggle a little bit which is unsurprising given its his first session, but gets a lot of support from the boys as he crosses the line. Anyway the winners of the fourth run – TMac, OMac and Hunt. TMac ensures he completely sweeps the last run of his group. He’s still an animal, and that’s good signs ahead. OMac also sweeps his entire group, impressively Frost is starting to get into his own and comes second in the final run. The final group don’t run… unsure why. Anyway, as the boys switch from running to kicking again there’s set shots, and moreso the chance to give you guys information you didn’t necessarily need but will get anyway. BK = Kennedy as I mentioned before had his first session today. He’s a little fella but he’s well built. From what I’ve seen so far, good running capacity. Also has a tatt a la Cyril, but that's extra information you didn't need to know but do now. Buggy = Tomas had his first run with the Dees as well and again, he’s smaller than most but again he is also solidly built. Not as nuggety as a Jones-type but not as small as Stretch either, I’d say he’s more in the middle. Again, he also ran well. Smith = Pretty skinny, needs a bit of work in the gym and with time he’ll get to improve his running capacity as well. Obviously a project player but because he has a bit of knowledge in the game he won’t take as long to develop as, say, a Maia Westrupp. Meantime, just behind me, the photographers that turn up get a bit excited – and I quote one of them – “Hogan’s got his shirt off!!!” The bloke generates excitement by doing the smallest of things. After the brief set shot session, which I presume was just a warm down, the boys finish rather abruptly. I say g’day to a couple of fans and head off, with the knowledge that the boys would want to be as sharp in the next session (which I’m hearing is 10:00 Wednesday) as they were today. To finish off, Tom McDonald did a couple of extra short, sharp bursts and there were a few others (such as Viney and Salem) who did a couple of extra things too. Okay, so summing up: • Petracca is looking really good even though he’s been restricted at the moment due to his continued ACL recovery • Hogan is also being held back, this I imagine more than anything is because we want to restrict his workload and make sure his back is alright • There was more of a running base than there was a football base which is normal for the firstpre season session • Regardless, the boys did well with the ball in hand today, not too many errors under pressure but there were a couple of decision-making errors • Tom and Oscar McDonald naturally are going to tear it up on the track all summer. • The boys are looking very fit • We still have to wait two weeks until the main group come back! I look forward to the next session… ​
  44. I attended training this morning from about 9.30am to 11.15am with about 15-20 other fellow onlookers including Mark Stevens, but no sign of TDI with his scooter and iPad... The conditions were good but fairly warm and glary. On light duties today I noticed Watts, White, Howe and Vince all running laps with Fitzy doing so later on. Kent, Garlett and Garland were in and out of the main group with a few niggles. Dunn had his calf strapped and was taking it fairly easy but later joined the main group along with Petracca and Terlich. Vandenberg seemed to be in full training. After all the warm ups and stretches the group really didn't get underway until 10am where they split into three groups playing keepings off. It was mainly talls on talls, mids on mids and small forwards on small backs etc. Hogan's aggression for the ball was of note and Riley, Viv and Jetta were impressive with their quick hands and at closing down players quickly, causing turnovers. Later on, the players had a drill where they kicked the ball from the BP to other side of the HBF where the awaiting player took a running mark and pushed off with speed hitting up an awaiting player near the corridor and then handing that ball off to a player near the centre circle where that player would hit up a player inside the 50 for a goal. The boys were really vocal in this and mostly hit their targets but I must say Pedo and Fitzy dropped a few easy marks and their kicks weren't that great either. The second drill was a bit more contested with the High Vis (green/white) tops being used. In this drill a coach would kick a ball near the HBF and a player would have to win ball and then kick to the other side HBF where that player would mark the ball and continue to kick down the line to a player near the wing. From there the players would look for options inside the 50 and utilise short passes to score a goal. I found the movement to be really good in this drill and all were hitting up targets under pressure. The players later split into three groups again where I watched the group closest to me which were the rucks/KPF's and KPB's doing 1 on 1 marking/spoiling contests. Hogan, Jamar, T-Mac and Frost were the standouts for me at winning the contests. Their bodywork and aerial skills were sensational, I'd say Frost and Hogan impressed the most, but O-Mac was also giving Gawn, Spencer and Pedo a run for their money which I liked. Around 11am they moved into match sim where they were focusing on getting the ball from the back line to the forward line and using run and carry and short passes whilst maintaining possession. The movement was very quick which was good to see and the boys were all talking to each other to help look out for their man. They would often rotate the backs and forwards with miss matches, I think i saw Jetta on Gawn a few times... but the back line were really holding it together and switching opponents so no one got loose. Grimes really impressed with his voice and direction to the players and the same goes to T-Mac. I noticed Gawn looked very damaging down forward marking everything that came his way and kicking straight through the goals every time (he's definitely in my SuperCoach). All in all it was a moderate training session, I didn't see any players gasping for breath. I think Roos just really wants to cement that quick ball movement into the players whilst also giving the kicker some options. Players who impressed me today were Frost, Gawn, Kent, Stretch, Viv and Grimes. P.s this is my first post so go easy on me fellow Demonlanders... Cheers.
  45. * A bit sunnier today, but still a bit of humidity in the air so conditions would have to be testing for the crew. * The main oval was still shifting under foot a bit this morning so a lot of the drills were taking place on the smaller oval which is drier & in better nick. The swapping between ovals must be so they can make use of the full size main oval to simulate game play better, and when they don't need it they are playing it safe with preventing injuries. * Neal-Bullen, Stretch, Harms, & Vandenberg running separate from the group. Terlich & Kent join them soon after. * ANB's moving freely and running well, so no issues with the knee. Apparently no ligament damage and no history of that injury so he's come out of that allright. Just unlucky. * In earlier drills, looks like the 1-5 year old guys training separately. Good chance to see them in action. * Like the look of Whitey. He tackles well and has a point to prove I reckon. Beautiful kick. Runs a little funny but so what. Seems to have become popular amongst the guys too. Always praising him. * Overall young guys training with good energy and spirit - good sign. * Hoges practising short range one grab reflex marking with Millsy rocketing them at him. Didn't see him drop one and all one grab. Millsy seems to be working a lot with him one on one. * Brayshaw composed, good decision maker. Looks like he thinks through the pressure situations well, or perhaps he doesn't think and it's all instinctive. * Hunt has got to work on his handballing. Lacking a bit of confidence I'd say. * Slightly concerned about Petracca's endurance for second the way he lopes around and then all of sudden he proves me wrong and takes off at speed. Definately a burst player...BBall influence. Really good footy skills though. * Newton working hard. * Stretch runs through the middle and snags a sausage just like his old man. * Sensing major competition for midfield spots. You can feel it out there. Casey's midfield should go allright this year. * After 2 hours training they break into full ground match simulations * Salem looking good. Good speed followed by a bullet pass. Class. Ready to blossom i'd say having had a full preseason. * Get the feeling Garlett does his best work in games. * Hogan playing the forward and out jostles Dawesy - impressive. They swap around and Dawes gets one back on him. * Lamumba breaks away with speed out of a pack - He's still got it. * Bit of driving tackle work by the big blokes is interesting to watch. Mids doing the same in background. Seeing who can hold there ground. Jamar makes them all look silly for a bit. Hogan looks a little tentative against the ruckmen. And then all of a sudden to my suprise big Maxy fires up a bit and rattles a few rib cages. * Relay team event to finish off. Approx 400m. Frost is so quick he should be going to the Olympics. Made them look silly. Dunny tries to psych out Petracca. Petracca not fazed and has a unique turn of speed that's hard to describe. He's got a down force/ g force/ after burners thing going on. Low to the ground like Ablett. * Quieter day tomorrow I'd say, not sure if it's worth going down. Wait and see how I feel tomorrow. Will definitely be checking out Saturday's session.
  46. Demonland is proud to announce that we are now sponsoring Jayden Hunt and Josh Wagner. We look forward to many years following these two young players. Thank you to all of you have have contributed to this website through Subscriptions, Donations and Merchandise as I've always promised that any excess funds will go back into the club.
  47. As previously mentioned it was the aim of the MFC to trade for 2 A Grade Mids and also leave one top ten draft pick. (My apologies for suggesting pick 2 would stay, I later corrected this.) There were a number of A Grade players targeted but Dangerfield, Hannebery plus a couple of other A Grade Swans were the players MFC gained traction. Mitchell was also targeted as a Tyson style deal. Melbourne were prepared to trade virtually any player on the list for the right price to also help bring these trades to completion. MFC came very close to securing Danger, Danger had agreed to be traded to us on a massive contract but never asked to leave. Roos was never going to trade picks 2 and 3 for one player which was what Adelaide were asking. When the Adelaide administration were unable to get Danger to commit to a new contract last week, Pick 3 and a later first round pick became the asking price. The tigers had shown interest in Trengrove for pick 12. This deal was on the clasp of being done but unfortunately Trengrove failed his medico. MFC then went to look for a replacement and shopped Watts around. Several good teams were prepared to trade their first round pick 10 -20 for Watts, however Roos put an end to this. Roos values Watts much higher than a pick 10 - 20 but no teams were prepared to offer more. Roos wants to keep Watts. Other players were also suggested but no deal was done. On a side note I don't believe the rumour that Adelaide were prepared to offer pick 10 for Trengrove. Attention then moved back to Sydney, it was hoped that Sydney would have salary cap issues this would force them to off load one of their A Graders for pick 2. MFC were also hoping to trade out another player for a pick around 10 which they would have hoped to get Lever. Another option was to trade for Mitchell with pick 2 swapped for a later single digit pick that would have been used for Lever. Clearly no deal was done. It was difficult to get the targeted Swans players to agree to come to the Dees and Sydney are not yet in a position of being forced to reduce salary cap. This will be an issue for them next year, when they will be forced to let players go....... but they want to win the premiership first. We also made a play for Toby Greene. Roos is targeting Lever and Brayshaw in the draft. Brayshaw is a lock in, it will be interesting who Roos takes with the other low pick. MFC is now is a super strong position with massive salary cap space. It will be making big plays for FA next season and you can bet Danger and Sydney players are at the top of their list. So to the riddles...... if you care. Congratulations to Ignition who was closest to the pin, although many correctly solved the first one. "Our likely trading partner is black and white but not a little bird" Answer: Sydney. A Swan can come in black or white and is not a little bird. "Tick, tock, the black mouse has run up the electric clock. Lancelot lurks with feathers or fur to the command of his sir." The black mouse is Dangerfield, time was running out to complete this deal and Watts had been offered as part of the trade. Watts was later withdrawn. Lancelot is the "Jack of Clubs", Watts is the Jack of Clubs. Watts is Lancelot. There were several clubs interested in Watts and he would go where he was traded. Sir is Roos. Ok so they both ended up not happening, trade week is a moving beast. I am sorry to any that somehow feel offended. For god sake it was a rumour thread, lighten up!! I am sure I will cop some more abuse, please its a waste of your time, I simply don't care. The tread was boring, trade week was boring, I had been muted and thought I would add some fun. It did make me laugh.............. very hard. One more thing, Demonland deteriorates when its members start bickering. We once had a site called Demology. It was destroyed by its members bickering, lets not let Demonland go down that path.
  48. It's on, day one under a beautiful Melbourne morning. They trained from 9 to 12 o'clock. 10 to fifteen support staff wait for the 8 to 10 coaches who are led to the field by Goody. No Bernie Vince or Jordan Lewis yet. The committee members including Barrett are also there and are making themselves available to discussions. The squad come out as one, 5 minutes later. They are brought together by Burgess who gives them the run down to today's work. He is a good communicator and all get his message and an opportunity to respond. In the rehab is Sam Wiedeman, Josh Wagner, Austin Bradke, Mitch Hannan, Aaron Vandenberg, Harrison Petty, Kade Kolodjasni and Neville Jetta. Some participated in the Tan run and the non-contact drills. Missing from today were Joel Smith, Oskar Baker and I think Kade Chandler. Adam Tomlinson was in kit but didn't train. Charlie Spargo in a moon boot and on crutches. Ed Langdon wearing number 15, he looked a bit nervous, struggling with skills though understandable as he gets comfortable with his new club. They start with running drills that stretch the legs. Then there off to a 3/4 lap of the Tan. They set of a startling pace. I was on bike and could just keep up. Probably gliding off at above 20 km/hr. The times are about 10.30 minutes. I followed at the back of the first pack with Jay Lockart and Tom Sparrow. Jake Lever led the second pack over the line. Back on the paddock, and they are into drills and simulations. Bayley Fritsch and Christian Salem setting up with great stab passes. A lot of the drills performed without much defensive pressure. The squad was divided into two groups for simulations. One in a confined area developing the short, congested game and the other working on defensive spread and zoning with offensive midfield turnovers to kick to the leading forwards. the two groups moved between both stations. It appears the positions for players arn't set yet as they all seemed to rotate with different plays. I would suggest that Tom Sparrow given his youth and being down on endurance at the moment is looking to be an attacking back flanker who can break the lines and deliver a good release. I believe Nathan Jones will play back flanker as well, he is also being very vocal out there. Could Marty Hore be used up forward? Thought he is also developing as a leader. Jake Melksham received a welcome back to training by Steven May. A hard fair collision. They finished the session with several 80 meter sprints in 17 – 18 seconds. A few stayed on the track. Braydon Preuss working Corey Wagner, Jack Viney kicking goals and Christian Salem working with James Jordan and I think Kyle Dunkley.
  49. I was pretty impressed by the intensity and general standard of the match simulation. Our main issue is still going to be hitting targets by foot, but there were some nice passages of play; and the midfield is looking stronger. I'll eat a little humble pie with Frost, as he looked very good today as a leading/marking target in the forward-line. While I much prefer him in defence i was surprised by his forward-line work. His kicking for goal will be a bit hit or miss. Weideman moved very well, but he needs lots more strength in marking contests. A lot to look forward to, but he's a work in progress and I thought Oscar McDonald had his measure. I was impressed with Oscar today. BenKen ran on to some very good crumbs and used his pace. Tyson looks strong and was again prolific. He looks set for a superb season. Viney was fantastic. He turned one over for a goal when he used his right foot in defence, but overall he looked a class above what he was last year. His pace and tackling was first class. He's been freed up and I doubt he'll tag this year. Stretch is coming along nicely. As is Harmes who did some really good things in the midfield. Hunt's pace is an asset and he too found a bit of it. He butchered a couple by foot, but also hit some nice passes. Hoges was Hoges. Gawn was excellent, but he dropped two marks in the goal-square he should have taken. Clunked the third. He should really impact the scoreboard this year. Hulett continues to look a player. Bugg worries me. He turns it over with poor decisions and kicking. He'll get games, but I'm not a fan. Grimes was good. Played midfield. ANB fumbled today. Kent and Garlett did well. Kent has bulked up, but has maintained his pace and evasiveness. And a pat on the back to a player many of us feel is on his last legs. Terlich was very good - again. He gets lots of it and today hardly wasted a disposal. I've been a critic, but credit when it's due. He's been an excellent trainer throughout summer.
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