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Deespicable last won the day on March 18 2016

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  1. Had a couple of shopping errands on way home, but saw most of session. Will try and not repeat what has been covered. Highlight: Trac. Drifted forward during match sim. Lever fell and he was forced into a Tim Watson style jump over the top of him and then turned and snagged one truly. He also had a dust-up with Action Jackson. Jacko snared him in a nice tackle and Trac gave him a bit of razz back and Trac was constantly cheeky with jibes throughout most drills. he's ready to play midfield, hence why Harmes is training off half-back and looking exceptionally good in the role of a right-side clearer. For the fans: Satay reckons he'll play all year in the VFL and if it came to touches at training then the stats men would say no way to Kozzie. But watch him closely. He's electric. He's the same mould as Cyril, built strongly through the hips and as a result, even though he's tiny height wise, he can hold his own. He'll play at some stage - maybe even Rd 1 if he does well in our two praccy games. And by well, that means five touches! He ain't an accumulator, he's a matchwinner! For the haters: I've said previously that ANB has been in our top two trainers previously and is a monte to play Rd 1, but (queue disbelievers and nasty trolls), Oscar may be playing himself into a spot in Rd 1. With Smith and May not there again, Oscar has had to step up and he's done a couple of things that I doubted he could rin the past two sessions - spoilt cleanly and outmuscled his opponent and I'm told he was pretty handy in the time trials as well - although 3km is way different running to the legspeed that he lacks. The only player who clearly had the wood over him at training today was his big brother Tom who tossed him aside like a ragdoll a couple of times. It's for that reason that I am still very wary to say that Oscar can hold his own on bigs and I'd be having Petty train with the backs every now and then just for security. But Oscar's disposal skills means when there's system down back, he is an asset. Lowlight: Obviously May hurt himself on Friday in the time trial, but Joel Smith's absence again is more of a worry. Praying he is just flu stricken and not more OP. VDB was missing today (one session doesn't make a summer) while Hannan continues to be an absentee. I did see him rehab train late December, but he never looked comfortable - knee issues are plaguing him. Rehab club: I reckon you'll find Jones (hammy), Tomlinson (calf) and Spargo (foot) back in the main gp in the next week. Baker is still a couple of weeks away at least, while Harley got a huge cheer from a few of the guys for just doing a few run-throughs. I reckon he did about 20 of them and had no obvious discomfort so maybe, just maybe. Five debutants this season (and in debut Rd order): Pickett Rd 1: as stated above, I'm in the lovers club already. He may only get five touches in Perth, but at least three will create goals. He'll be in and out all season as he learns to cope with AFL intensity. Jackson Rd 2: I reckon they'll take him as emergency to Perth and then play him the next week at our first home game of season v GWS. He's more mobile than Weed, Tomlinson (based on last year) and even Petty. Whacko Jacko looked great as a forward today and brought down Trac with his second effort. Trac took his headband off him in return and it did seem most of the boys liked getting into him, but he has that Jesse type arrogance about him (must be a Perth thing). Once in, may play whole season if he remains uninjured. Toby Bedford Rd 4: He hurt his ankle today, but he's been lively all pre-season. He's not as explosive as Kossy but he now gets his role. When he was playing match sim today, it was a bold new order with Kossy, Bradtke and Bedford making Jetta and Wags work overtime. I reckon he'll be switched in and out of the side with Pickett much of the year. JJ Rd 6or7: I suspect the week after we play Richmond there'll be a push to bring this guy in to our midfield and based on today, he'll play before Sparrow gets a game this year. During match sim drill it was evident just how quick Jimmy's hands are and how accurate. One came just after Sparrow had butchered a release handball and as a result the comparison was stark. Yes JJ needs to keep working on his speed, but he'll be the prime mover in the VFL this year and at some stage will get the call-up. Trent Rivers Rd 6 or 7: This guy may surprise everyone and be our best pick of this year's draft. He's quick, can leap and is a nice kick. He was mega impressive in the tackling drill today - kept breaking free. My only worry is that he still looks like a little kid and I hope they don't rush him in too early. But having said that, if Joel Smith is out for long, then Rivers and his pace may be summoned earlier than even I think. Obviously Langdon will be playing Rd 1 - he has just fitted in seamlessly (an everyready engine). Tomlinson may be playing Rd 1 as well, but too early to make a call on that. Brown is a chance as well as he keeps presenting, but he has stamina, not speed like Whacko. Finally, there's lot of players whom I generally don't mention because we all know they are quality but you couldn't help but notice the work of Gawny today. The big fella made the midfield/ruck drills an issue because he was just so good at tapping to his teammate that it rendered the contest ineffective because there was no way anyone could stop his team.
  2. Yes he was. He mixed playing up forward with occasional spells in ruck against Gawn, switching with Jackson. He got involved a bit, but T.Mac and Petty were the two pins that presented and marked everything.
  3. Based on what we are seeing from training at moment in simulated match practice, here's my take on Best 22 at moment. Defenders (7 - one on bench): May, Lever, Smith, Jetta, Harmes, Salem, Hibberd - Emerg: Lockhart Mids (8 - two on bench): Gawn, Olly, Viney, Langdon, Trac, Brayshaw, Vanders, plus one more from Jones/JJ/Dunkley/Sparrow Forwards (7 - one on bench): Fritter, Melky, T.Mac, Petty, ANB, Hunt plus a decision on whether to have the extra big (Tomlinson, Weid or Jackson) or the extra small (Kossie or Bedford) Injuries to Jones and Tomlinson mean they will have to show quite a bit early next year when they get back in with the main group.
  4. Saw most of the session, but best part was the match simulation. VDB played on a wing, mainly against Sparrow, and was BOG by some way in the first game and pretty handy in the next. If his feet hold up he is in. A couple of Dusty don't argue were highlights. He was around the play when Mitch Brown copped a knock to the head and went off, but I cannot say it was anything to do with Vanders. The other player on fire today who has spent most of pre-season with rehab group was 'Tom" Petty. He played as a mobile forward and his marking was impressive and with T-Mac in form as well, it's an impressive looking forward line on paper with versatility that Fritter and Melky and ANB bring. Petty only did half the match sim because they are being careful with him, but like Vanders, he's pretty much in if he's fit. I said last week that the 3, 2, 1 of pre-season work was Fritter, ANB and Lockhart, but the other nice thing happening at the moment is that Trac is in everything playing as a loose midfielder. Tried to take on May though and got sat on his backside, but kept going and made a few nice tackles himself. Jackson played the entire scratch match and with Preuss not there today, he spent plenty of time tracking big Maxy. Jacko is an amazing athlete but he will take time, but I wouldn't rule him out of Rd 1 just yet. He just adds such variety and pace, that they may want to play him early. Kossie played in the first scratch game and he did a couple of things that were very much like Aaron Davey. He doesn't get it much, but neither did Cyril so let's wait and see. I did like seeing Harmes down back - he is such a great professional and combined with Lever and May, we have a talking backline that is taller and quicker than last year. Smith is the third tall back there and Hibbo and Jetta the lockdowns and Salem the smarts. Langdon on a wing is a goer, an ever-ready battery, although his disposal will be crucial. Of the back-ups, Bedford is starting to show signs with his speed and evasiveness, but his disposal needs working on. JJ is a very handy accumulator and will make his debut at some stage this year. Jonesy, Tomlinson, Baker and Hannan were in rehab and I think Bennell made an appearance later in day.
  5. I popped down for the fifth time this pre-season (sad i know). Across all those sessions, three players have stood out. 1) Bayley Fritsch - He's impressed every time and today he had a birthday - torched Joel Smith early and then made Stephen May look second rate in match practice beating him in the air and on the ground. Goody now has to decide whether he plays him out of the goalsquare - which is what he did against the Roos in Rd 23 last year. Only proviso I'll make with him is that he also trained the lights out last pre-season and when the real stuff came on, spent the first six weeks struggling before stepping up to the semi-elite level. 2) Alex Neal-Bullen - This guy is putting in a huge summer without his best mate Billy. He made a few big tackles today and read the ball off the pack beautifully. He kicked a nice goal from 45m today as well. And it's been the same every session. He even threw in a 400m lesson to Jackson and Lever at one point today. ANB has been high intensity from the outset and only injury will cost him a spot in our Rd 1 team. Whether he stays in will be determined by the results in our first two games, small forwards invariably struggle in losses. 3) Jay Lockhart - Those of you over 50 will remember how nimble and clever Alan Johnson was as a defender. Well Jay has been almost up to that level with great evasiveness and an ability to get the ball moving quickly. He's a very accurate and long kick which makes him ideal as our set up man and watching him use his voice to direct others made me aware he's got the nous as well as nerve. The issue of course is that to get into the side he has to show why he should be picked ahead of Lord Nev. Jay has more rebound than Nev, but yet to see whether he cam match Nev's prowess in one-on-one battles. The other player he has to get past to play Rd 1 is Nathan Jones, who more than likely will play half-back, subject to injury. So I'm not about to say he's in for Rd 1, but Jay is certainly putting together an impressive body of work that will make him an easy inclusion down back once there's an injury or two. There's been plenty of others who have caught my eye so far and it's really pleasing to see T.Mac, Melky, Joel Smith and even Weid so far down the track after injuries last year.
  6. Buckenara’s verdict: It’s boom or bust on Jackson but they have addressed list needs. I am not about to bag Bucky because he's very entitled to his view, but the comment above does beggar some belief. Addressed list needs 1: So we have taken a ruckman in Jackson because we needed one? We have the best in the game, are about to make him captain and his attitude is exemplary meaning only bad luck will see him having to retire in less than three years. We also traded in a very useful back-up ruckman last year in Preuss, so ruck was one area that we had a fair bit of strength already. Having said that I think we all get that we need a quality tall up forward and Jackson's mobility and pace may mean he can provide that option - not sure about his kicking yet. As to Goody's suggestion that he will be a ruck-rover, I'm not sure why you would reveal this unusual plan if that was your intention. Addressed list needs 2: So which club had six small forwards and four medium sized small forwards on their list prior to the draft - the most of any club. Same club that drafted a small forward named Pickett. Of course we can argue that none of the small forwards we have provide the pace and spark that is needed, although I do like what Jayden Hunt brings in that area and unlike other D'Lers and I do appreciate the hardwork and pressure that ANB provides in this role. Pickett seems a little more electric than our current batch and his highlights show he loves to tackle so hopefully he will be a gun and provide the spark and excitement that players such as Rioli, Farmer, Walters give their clubs. Certainly Trent Rivers does address our list needs and hopefully can replace Hibberd and Jetta down the track. But overall at this stage I don't really think the draft was a good one, especially when we left a quality defensive kicker like Hayden Young behind. I am a bit more bullish about the trade period where getting an outside runner like Langdon was a huge bonus, while Bennell is a risk worth taking. Brown is a handy back-up in an area that we had strife with last season, while Tomlinson, provided he can get on the park should provide versatility - yet to see whether he'd an uprgrade on Frosty though.
  7. Yep Neitschke (who was enjoying finally being out of rehab) and Jordan. Both have endurance engines. But what an unlikely double. Those of you wondering about what happened to Hunt and ANB, they train with the forwards and the backs and forwards do their reps straight up the middle of the ground away from the mids.
  8. I have no problem at all with us taking Pickett at 10 if our guys rate him that highly and all our must-haves are gone. But I think from what we heard from Tubby Taylor, he's a fan of Hayden Young and if by some miracle Young is available at No.10, then we better bloody well take him as we already have six small forwards on our list (ANB, Spargo, Lockhart, Chandler, Bedford, Hunt) and that's without including Hannan, Petracca, Melky and Fritter who could all be placed in that category as well. By contrast if Salem goes down, let's think what back-ups do we have to assume his precise kicking role - you could argue Hibberd, Jetta and Jones, but all three of those are nearing the end of their careers. So let's hope Taylor shows some sanity if Young is available.
  9. I was there for just over an hour and highlights for me were: VDB doing fairly intense rehab work - lots of kicking and marking on the lead, followed by hard 200m running - way too fit/quick for rehab colleagues Tom Petty and Bradtke. Trac and Joel Smith did quite a few of the 200m also before heading off early. I've said it before but Joel Smith now has an upper body that will draw the girls to him and he's my tip to play on Jack Darling in Rd 1, assuming he's passed fit by then. And barring more stressies, I reckon VDB could be back with all the boys early December. These two will be our best recruits this year if we get them on the park. T-Mac looked really good, kicked beautifully for goal and marked well and later was unstoppable in running drills passing Jayden after about 110m of 120m run throughs. Gawny and Viney both looked in mint condition and matched up on each other in a couple of midfield duels. Bit like Schwarzenegger and De Vito in Twins. Joint captains for sure. Lever looked good, but can someone please show him how to do leg weights. O-Mac being O-Mac - I won't go into it but most of you get what I mean. Dunkley had a red-hot go and don't be surprised if he's in the midfield mix for Rd 1 - he matched up with Angus most of the time and he's learning the trade well. He then led all the early 200m reps again. And there's a prize if you can guess who passed him to win the last rep ... the new Neiter. I reckon the double would have paid $150 as JJ came through for the silver.
  10. Baker has a groin injury and hopes to resume straight after X-mas. Spargo injured his ankle ligament last Friday - unless he did them badly, should be back next week. I think Petty had a minor knee clean-up post-season. Not sure why Smith wasn't there, but he looked really strong last Friday. He has bulked up more and was working with backs - if fit will play on Jack Darling in Rd 1 IMO. Most impressive today was Ed Langdon - ran hard, kicked well and looked eager.
  11. Obviously it is just a dream team at the moment and VDB, Smith and Bennell would have a lot of work to do. But if fit, they are all very worthy first-22 members. KK is almost in same boat. Happy with trial of Harmes as defender because we need a right-footer with pace coming out, but suspect he will be needed in midfield after a few weeks. FB: Lever - May - Salem HB: Harmes - Smith - Hibberd MID: Langdon - Vandenberg - Bennell HF: Petracca - Petty - Hunt FF: Melksham - T.Mac - Fritsch R: Gawn - Oliver - Viney INT: Brayshaw - Tomlinson - Jetta - ANB Depth: Jones - Sparrow - Lockhart - Pruess - Baker - Hannan - Dunkley - KK - Weideman - two high picks
  12. I have always been very bullish about Joel and with Frosty gone, he's super important to add pace and aerial skills to our backline. The last place I want him lining up is the forward line, because as we all know, forwards have to turn tighter and pivot when tackled and I just don't want to hear that he's aggravated his OP attempting a shot around the corner. I actually think he's the closest thing we've got to Tom Stewart on our list. What he needs is to play as many games as he can, so that he can become more au fait with our systems and also so that gets a feel for how far he can go with umpires when tunnelling opponents - as all defenders try and do.
  13. Love all the thoughts and given that I've only really had a good look at Rowell and Serong, my order is based on what I think each club's list managers would be thinking. 1 GC - Rowell - This guy is such an amazing hardworker and a beautiful baulker, reminds me a little of a smaller Robert Harvey. May be too small to be a long-term superstar, but definitely a SC special in his first year and guaranteed 200-gamer. 2 GC - Anderson - I've noticed how Knightmare and others already see his upside and he's got his dad's athleticism. I reckon he may struggle a bit at AFL level early, but once his body adjusts he oozes class and he is a better kick than his dad. He trained with us mid-season and I'm sure it would throw a spanner now in our planning if the Suns didn't take him. The AFL puts so much money into the Suns, and they have already made it clear to them and us what they want. 3 Melb - Hayden Young (Dandenong) - I loved what dazzledavey said about him. "Young in my opinion is one of the best users of the footy in the draft. Absolute sublime with his ability to bullet low 40m passes on both sides of his body. Yes he is genuinely a duel sided player with both feet. Plays his best footy across half back as the quarter back who will sit out the back of the stoppage and wait for the handball receive to then set up a counter attack with his foot skills, but also his intercept marking is exceptionally well. Had stints as a midfielder after the championships and showed that he has the ability to push up into the midfield as a genuine wingman who could deliver with poise inside 50. Honestly you just want the ball in this kids hands at every opportunity because he uses it so well." We need a quick defender, especially with Frost departing and with Hibberd and Jetta getting on, so we need someone like Young with run and kicking ability to take the pressure off Salem. I can't see us taking Serong this early, even though he is a guaranteed 200-gamer, because I reckon we feel our midfield is good enough and we may yet add Martin to our group of onballers. 4 Adel - Dylan Stephens (SA) - I reckon they will weigh him up with Will Gould, who is another SA player and one who shone in the SANFL finals. But Stephens has pace and I reckon that's what Adelaide needs big time now. They will also consider Serong and Flanders, but surely the logic of recent seasons will tell them to go local. 5 GWS - Tom Green (NSW) - I haven't seen any of his games, but the reports say he's an inside bull and I reckon Sydney will want him enough to put a bid on him and he lives virtually on their doorstep. He actually fits Sydney's requirements more than GWS, especially with Kennedy almost finished and Parker getting on, but unless they are planning some cute swap he will surely join the Giants and back-up their gun midfielders. 6 Syd - Luke Jackson (WA) or Sam Flanders (Gippsland) - I've jumped Jackson up the order because I reckon Sydney will have been so [censored] off this year that they didn't have a back-up ruck plan once they started getting injuries and reports say Jackson could be a bit like a future Grundy and with Blakey and Daniher (after next year), they will have their bigs shored up for post-Franklin days. If they feel Jackson is too much of a stretch and could still be around their pick 25, then I reckon they will go Flanders and groom him for the Kennedy role in 2021.They will also consider Serong, but I reckon his lack of size and their good history with mids will see them want the bigger-body option. 7 Frem - Devon Robertson (Perth) - I've assumed here that GWS had to give up pick 6 as part of their Green acquisition and I can't really see how the Giants can get around losing six, unless the Swans come to some sort of whacky deal - very happy if a draft expert can explain how they can manipulate it for me. As a result Freo should have pick seven and having made last year their bigs draft, they will want more midfield help for Fyfe, although Brayshaw and Cerra should be even better next season. Freo will have to decide between Serong, Kemp (coming off a knee injury that will mean he barely plays next season, if at all) and their own boy Robertson, who was a star for WA's winning U18 team. As with Adelaide, they have been burnt by Victorians wanting to go home, so surely they will go their own lad. Surely! 8 Melb - Cody Weightman (Dandenong) or Caleb Serong/Sam Flanders (Gippsland) - This hopefully is a lot tougher for Tubby Taylor than simply just reading out Weightman's name. Clearly we were excited by the prospect of the pacey, quick forward with a leap and that's why sold the farm to go up the order. But Cody is pretty small (just 177cm - 5ft10in) and we have already spent the past three drafts trying to find small forwards who can play near the goalsquare (Spargo and Sparrow with our top remaining picks and Bedford, Chandler, Lockhart with speculative picks). It infuriates me that this obsession led us to having 15 sub 6-footers on our list and whilst we have moved on two of them, Cody would be another vertically challenged player in an era when smalls need to be incredibly fast plus manic tacklers - and not one of our choices has majorly explosive leg-speed. In one sense, I reckon we already solved our small forward problem this year when we sent Jayden Hunt there too harass and whilst his evasive skills and smooth kicking need working on, he certainly harassed. Hunt's not too dissimilar to Castagna and provided Young and Joel Smith (if fit) can cope with quick forwards up the other end, then Hunt is a good option alongside Petracca, Melky, Fritter and maybe ANB. So if someone has some Cody videos please put them on DL as I don't really understand why we would move heaven and earth to get him - maybe a few freakish snaps and leaps will make it clearer. The more sensible option to me is to go whichever one of Serong or Flanders that is left over. This will add depth to our midfield and both can spend their first season primarily being used up forward as they develop bodies. From the games I saw Serong was the second best junior behind Rowell. He is a tad small (180cm), but he's got a good leap, tackles hard and kicks beautifully to position. To me he looked a safe bet to be drafted by the Roos at 8, but for some reason they must have felt he'd go earlier, and jumped at the prospect of our 2020 pick. From all reports Flanders (182cm) is a huge talent as well that could develop into a frontliner. I am not sure about how quick either of these two are, but they both scored a few bags of goals as mids and if they have enough speed, then it's a tick from me.
  14. I just hope we take advantage of this unexpected opportunity in the pre-season draft and are flexible enough to adjust our original plans to accommodate Martin. There's no doubt he's an incredibly classy and quick midfielder and that's what we have all been crying out for because of our lack of outside run. It may be that he ends up playing on a wing and forces Goody to shift his thinking on Tomlinson a bit, but you don't give up quality when it stares you in the face. The money should not be an issue given we already had enough room to make a major bid for Jamie Elliott. The only issue is convincing him to want us more than Carlton and ultimately that's up to our coaching staff and key players to make him feel Gosch's Paddock is a great venue and that our environment is up to speed with most clubs. We also need our former Suns - May and KK - to take him out for coffee and make him feel at home. We also should play what's left of our NT card - the Alice Springs trip is a highlight for our indigenous players who are beset upon and idolised by the locals. I just hope we don't blow it. This is Josh Mahoney's time to shine!
  15. Love how Josh Mahoney is so matter of fact about things, unlike half the other footy managers. I am very happy with attempts to improve our line-up with Langdon (wingman and great runner), Tomlinson (depth and tall swingman - not keen on him playing wing though) , Elliott (playing out of goalsquare, although he's not across the line yet) plus by the sounds of it either a quality kicking half-back in Hayden Young or a hard-working, good kicking small in Caleb Serong with pick three. But ultimately our list management team (not sure how much input Todd Viney has on it this year) has set up Goody for either a nice bounce back or an alarming fall should the moves not win the fans over. Part of that reason is that the two most vilified regular players at the club (ANB and Oscar) are both still at the club and a fan favourite in Sam Frost has been effectively shown the door. Ignore the fact that OMac had another year on his contract, if the club wanted him to move on, they would have found a way - clubs are very shrewd with this kind of thing. So all this builds the appetite for an intriguing year and one that will be very much about our coach - success or failure.
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