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Year in review - On the field


Dappa Dan
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Disgusted with the assertion that the dogs were the best Victorian team last season and that they are the logical challengers for a top-4 spot next year. I can live with Freo being a top-4 candidate. They made it this year, beat us soundly, and topped up with trades. But there's NO WAY that the dogs were "certainly" the best of the ten Victorian clubs.

We finished higher on the ladder after H&A, beat them by more than they beat us earlier in the season, and also finished higher after finals! After losing the first 3 games we spent 8 weeks in the top 4, to their 9, but were only 1 win in round 22 from making it. They were clear in 8th spot. We were also the better side at the business end of the season (after round 15) as evidenced by the fact that we thrashed them by 8 goals in round 17.

The article goes on to lump us in with Collingwood and St Kilda. Not only did we thrash both sides whenever we met them in H&A, then beat St Kilda in a final, but we were clearly a better side than either of them for all but the first 3 rounds! Collingwood have been proven as having little depth, and the Saints had problems so bad that they sacked a coach! ANYONE who's seen a football match before 2006 can see as plain as day that we're threatening for top 4 this coming year.

Honestly, what do you have to do to be rated deservingly by the media in this comp?! I'd complain, but I have no idea where to start, and I have serious doubts that my protestations would reach anyone who would care...

Seriously filthy about this. MFC deserves more plaudits than this clown offers. Not much more, I grant, but more nonetheless.

Here's the link.

http://afl.com.au/default.asp?pg=news&...rticleid=311136

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I was getting angry, then I saw that the review was written on AFL.com.

The AFL website and its vast majority of 'journalists', has as much credibility as the homeless man who sings to me everyday on the way to work.

We were the best Victorian team in 2006. I don't see how anyone who can read an AFL ladder (before or after finals) could argue against that.

The Doggies are everyone's 'second favourite team'.... for some reason, that translates into 'best Victorian team' to some. :rolleyes:

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Win games that matter.

There is only one prize in this competition and where others rate us for the rest is of no importance to me.

Ultimately, you are of course right. But we can't win flags EVERY year. I'm happy if we let them win one every second year... In the meantime, and particularly in the case of clubs that have suffered from sustained failure (and boy, have we ever done that), it's important to make our legion of rich, fairweather friends get up off their arses and follow the club again. We all hate that there are people who don't pay extra monay unless they see us win, but it's a sad reality that it happens.

I may be wrong, as neither you nor I can be accused of being "fairweather" supporters, but I'd suggest that guys like Jones, Bate, McLean, Bartram, Davey, Dunn, Moloney, Rivers and even Sylvia all have the potential of being future stars of the competition. If the site that most part-time fans visit says that we're further back than we are, then that inhibits, at least in some small way, the excitement that we can generate within that fan-base.

Look, in the end it's only a very small thing, and I can only find that one legitimate problem with it. To be honest, I'm just [censored] off because I'm proud of the image the club is working towards, and I think we deserve to have repect, or at least the embryonic stages of respect. I am mindful, however, that the only kind of respect that matters is self respect.

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...I'm proud of the image the club is working towards, and I think we deserve to have repect, or at least the embryonic stages of respect. I am mindful, however, that the only kind of respect that matters is self respect.

Respect is earned not deserved.

For the first time last year, we actually continuously competed for the hard contested ball and actually at times began to win games that a downhill skiing club like ours would normally lose....often badly too. The players you mention need to perform and cant live off potential for too long in this game.

Prior to 2006, we were as soft as butter and deserved the skepticism the football media gave us.

In the end, Fan is right. There is only one prize that counts. And when we win it the critics can just all get stuffed. B)

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I'm just [censored] off because I'm proud of the image the club is working towards, and I think we deserve to have repect,

I agree DD. Our club has worked very hard to be where it is today and I agree we deserve that respect. But in one article written by one reporter we haven't got it.

I think it's fair to say I've just stopped worrying about things I can't control. I can't stop the fairweather supporter jumping on and off. I can't stop the well healed MCC member not putting money into our club, I can't help the fact we don't have a big supporter base with the benefits that go with it and I can't help the fact we don't put bums on seats in sufficient numbers when we play to demand 18 games at the G.

But like you I take pride in the efforts of the club in achieving what we have and I do what I can to help. But hardnuts like Hannabal always remind me that there is only one prize, and ultimatley they are right. But it doesn't mean you can't admire effort and events along the journey.

RR I reckon you're a hard man. Wasn't it 2004 that after 18 rounds we were top? Where have we been when we've played 15 rounds in the last three years, when we've played everyone once? I reckon it's top 4.

Soft teams don't achieve that.

But we were harder last year and gained a bit of respect for that I reckon.

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Good stuff Fan.

Though I think there is one interesting point you made. That one about making it to the top 4 after round 15. I would argue that yes, you have to be a good side to do that, but then the hardness to keep it up in rounds 16-22 and in finals is exactly what we're lacking. I wouldn't call us soft, certainly not. But in terms of that kind of "hardness", we're on the way, but not there yet.

I think the point I'd like to see people make is that you don't come from outside the top 8 one year, and win the flag the next. In most, if not all cases, you need to build the side, give them experience in a few H&A seasons, make finals, win finals, win prelims and then make and win a GF. H and RR, would you say it's too much to expect a few failures along the way?

What I found encouraging was that there's definite improvement, in a number of different areas... Hardness in the youth, and even with some middle and older aged players with McDonald and Green adding extra grunt to their games. Success in a final, albeit with some good fortune. A better looking defence. A bona-fide star in the making (Brock).

My point is that if premierships are earned over the space of X amount of years, then surely 2006 would count as one of them.

In the end, one measely finals victory counts for nothing if it doesn't lead to the ultimate success. It's actually worse in a lot of ways because you deny yourself the spoils in the draft when you bottom out. If the assertion of guys like RR and H (and I don't mean to presume) is that all we're doing is maintaining a perpetual 5-8th position, then that's fair enough. They're absolutely right if they're saying that we're doomed to mediocrity, as that's all we've PROVEN we're capable of so far. 4 of the last 5 years we've ended up 5-6th twice and 7-8th twice. Is it doing us any good? Time will tell I guess. Personally I look at the glass half full. I guess it's too much to expect afl.com "journalists" to do the same. And in the end, it's all just academic.

I'm loving following the dees at the moment, simply because I'm convinced we're growing and building, not declining. That's reason enough for me to think positively.

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I can't stop the well healed MCC member not putting money into our club...

I hear what you say but if the MCC was well "healed" they might want to put their money into the hospital responsible for the healing. On the other hand, if they were well heeled, then they might be like Imelda Marcos and have thousands of pairs of shoes. Let's leave MCC members out of this - plenty of them contribute to the club.

Otherwise, I'm in agreement with what you say.

Apocalypse XXXI (an MCC Member)

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yeah well, the media dont rate us as being candidates because we are way too inconsistent. on the other hand the dogs had two average to good seasons and are rated enormously. we have had made the finals three years in a row i think, (ess'04, geel'05,stk06'?) not sure about 04 whether it was 03, and proved our critics we are worthy enough to be rated among the best. in this biased world of commentating and media reports, we simply have to earn their respect by winning the bloody thing! i guess its way better being the underdog rather than the favourite.

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We deserve to be treated with scepticism by the football media, public and fans alike. For the past 3 seasons we've been in a position to make the top 4 and have blown it! The excuses and or reasons thrown up by our football department for our failures during the business end of the season are starting to wear a bit thin with the football media. We have achieved nothing since the year I was born.

It annoys the crap out off me to read posts on this website about indiscretions by players from other clubs. At the end of the day, it's the deeds of the players on the field that matter. Ben Cousins is testament to that.

Talk is cheap. Being the best Victorian club means diddly squat to me. We need to have higher expections, and be more ruthless. As much as it pains me, Essendon has as much chance of winning a flag in the foreseeable future as we have. This is not based on current lists, but of club culture. We sell 2 home games interstate for short term financial gain. If our window of opportunity is now, why are we doing this?

At least the Bulldogs have shown the gumption to recruit for the present, ie; Aker and Macdougall, which explains why they're budgeting for a membership of 30k, and receive all the media hype.

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Interesting.

Look, anyone who argues that the demons deserve all the respect in the world is sadly misguided. Before I refer to anything in your post let me just clarify that all I ask for is our FAIR SHARE of respect. Like RR and others say, we won't get the respect we want until we actually win a GF. Even then, it's hard to get it, just look at Sydney in 2006 who came within a point of doing it again after everyone wrote them off as "lucky". It's pretty simple really. While being #1 in Vic counts for nothing when you tally up premierships, it's still a form of praise the demons earned in 2006. Whether or not you care about measly tidbits of intra-state bragging rights or not, we WERE the best performed Vic club in 2006. So when (and if, of course) we make a prelim or GF, will we be dismissed again? Worse still, if we win one we'll get the same treatment Sydney got. What I want is for people to suggest that we're a shot at making the top 4, and they're not doing that, despite the fact that we were better than the dogs last year.

The one area I can't go with you on mo is where you say we need to have higher expectations. Who said we didn't? I EXPECT this team to build and build and build UNTIL we win a premiership. If we are forced to rebuild, THEN we shoot them down for being weak. Or the coach. Or whoever is appropriate.

I'm not saying I'm thrilled we ended up out of the finals in week 2, but I understand it's a work in progress. What I am is mindful of the fact that from my vantage point, we are heading in the right direction.

Essendon has more chance of winning a flag in the forseeable future? Now that's where we'll disagree. They were beyond weak last season. They've recruited for the next few years rather than for deep in the future. Sheedy's not going to last forever. Neither is Hird. They have problems all over the ground, and anyone who says by recruiting/retaining the spine they have will win them a flag is delusional (impressive as it may be). They'll win their fair share of games, no doubt. They may even make finals with a bit of injury luck, but they will NOT make top 4 or a flag. I'd take our list over theirs any day of the week. And while I don't have my money on us winning it this year, I have my money on this core of players between 18-26 being in touch of the top 4 over the next 5 years. What more could you ask for? Our sold interstate games have been an unfortunate necessity, that have been rectified. It's not like we were ever HAPPY with being bundled out early in week one or two of September. This perceived attitude that demons fans are happy with mediocrity is a myth. Or at least it is with me.

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I

RR I reckon you're a hard man. Wasn't it 2004 that after 18 rounds we were top? Where have we been when we've played 15 rounds in the last three years, when we've played everyone once? I reckon it's top 4.

For the past 3 years we have been beautifully positioned by the start of August. Only to disappear for a variety of reasons. For the first 15 rounds we are a class act...May June premiers. But all too often when August comes along many of our front running stars disappear. Many of our supposed leading names repeated disappear at the business end of the year. As our youth comes on, I would expect some of these perennials on our list not to be as critical to our fortunes as before.

Last year was different and you and I have discussed this at length. I thought our Sydney in Sydney win and the come from 5 goals down against Geelong in the wet at the MCG at night to be wins that not characteristically MFC. I see the changes and re excited by them. But I dont gloss the history.

FWIW, to the great unwashed footy commentator, the August/Sept fall off and the Odds/even rubbish has not painted us as a team to admire.

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Let us not forget that at one stage we won 11 from 12 games, and it took sending us over to the other side of the country to finally lose a game. Did the Bulldogs have such a streak?........No

We were red hot during those 12 games (having only gone down to the weagles by 20 something points)

Our best in 06 was better than the Doggies best. But hey, let the bulldogs bask in their glory before the season has started, weren't Geelong declared as premiership favourites after the NAB cup (before the season got underway)

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Prior to 2006, we were as soft as butter and deserved the skepticism the football media gave us.

I don't agree. I agree with your observation that we have fallen off for a number of reasons towards the end of seasons, but not that we were as soft as butter.

Injury, the draw and fitness have been our weaknesses in past years. We can control one of those and I hope BB makes a significant difference here.

Soft as butter? Rubbish. You don't achieve what we achieved by being as soft as butter.

On the other hand, we were hardly as hard as nails!

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If the assertion of guys like RR and H (and I don't mean to presume) is that all we're doing is maintaining a perpetual 5-8th position, then that's fair enough. They're absolutely right if they're saying that we're doomed to mediocrity, as that's all we've PROVEN we're capable of so far.

Thanks for the PM, Dappa. I'll respond here.

I started posting on the old Demonland just over 4 years ago, although I'd been an avid reader for 12 months prior. And it didn't take me long to recognise the quality of Deefan's posting. I didn't agree with all that he wrote, but his balance and depth of thought interested me. Spunjy and Scoop Junior, amongst others, also made quality contributions. My point being ? Almost all the posters I read then, and since, have either thought our team/list was the bee's knees and under performing, or the coach was useless. Then you had the other group who wouldn't hear a bad word about the club, players, or coach. They riled me the most. For too long I've put up with this club and many of its insipid supporters either not giving a damn or failing to understand the mindset of winners. I may have gone too far on occasions trying to shake up what I perceived to be a mundane status quo, or overly apathetic supporters, but so be it. It's a mindset that hasn't endeared me to some, but it's a stance I believed to be necessary and I make no apologies. I want to support a cutthroat club that has a hard edge. One that knows what is required for success, isn't afraid to step on toes, and makes the tough decisions on players when necessary. And I haven't always felt that these trademarks have adequately emanated from the MFC. Also, imo 95% of posters haven't had a realistic grasp of their club and its onfield capabilities.

But I digress. Dappa, you're above comments don't quote me accurately. I'm very optimistic about our future over the next year or two, before a lull in 2009/2010. However, the lull will be short lived before a strong resurgence. West Coast played finals 2002/03/04 and went out in straight sets each year. It took those years of building their list and gaining experience before they were able to seriously threaten and ultimately succeed. I think we're in a similar position. I take great solace in our finals victory over the Saints and our 3 successive September appearances. I think we are in a position now to seriously challenge, although I suspect that 2008 is more realistic. Playing and losing finals can be mediocrity or the stepping stones to success. I hope and believe it's the latter.

I'm not a Daniher apologist and I reckon he's made mistakes along the way, but I give him credit where it's due. I've said repeatedly that "outside midfields are consistently inconsistent" and I know that he recognises this and has put in train a young group that is well and truly on the way to rectifying this situation. Other than Neitz, our leaders haven't been contested ball winners. They're classy, but unable to influence games due to an inability to win the ball in tight or take the game by the scruff of the neck. What's the point of having a leader who can't stamp his impromata on a game of footy ? Whilst Brad Green has improved in this area, it's one reason he should never be captain imo - one of the areas where Deefan and I disagree. Btw, I'm not picking on Green as I believe he gets a bum wrap on here. He had a fine year which has gone largely unrecognised.

We've got a couple of structural weaknesses as a side and as usual injuries will play a part, but no team in the competition is perfect. There's no champion Brisbane Lions outfit running around. Can we pinch hit and cover where we're deficient ? Time will tell, but unlike others, who rightly point to our NQR kpp's, or a potential ruck issue, it's the midfield that causes me most angst. The potential is fantastic, but are they currently capable of the 'gut running' required to win a finals campaign ? I'm not so sure, but we must make top 4 if we're a genuine chance. I think we can.

Sorry for the self indulgent rant.

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Playing and losing finals can be mediocrity or the stepping stones to success. I hope and believe it's the latter.

Encouraging post. If both you and RR have a more positive outlook than me, something is backwards.

I highlighted that sentence simply because I think it needs to be highlighted.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Dapper

There is one gem in the article "While Melbourne, Collingwood and St Kilda also reached the finals in 2006, all three ended the season well adrift of the top four with the Saints to start 2007".

If we had stayed in the top three, we would have survived one trip West. We had a real chance for top two when the Weagles dropped a few games.

With a sense of deja vu, I sat and watched us go down against the first game against the Blues. I may not have seen the second or I may just have blotted it out. We also traditionally have these games against the Doggies at the Dome. The opposition gets a few goals up but for the first quarter and a half do not believe that they can win. As the realisation sets in, they truns it on. Then, the Dees rally to go down by four goals or thereabouts.

1/ Talk not to me of Spirit, confidence, Zeitgiest or the Healing Power of Crystals. I want the players to have the bravery/determination/fear of torture/whatever to run to where they should, to chose the correct attacking option rather than concentrating on not being the one to turn-over the ball which will of course come to pass.

2/ I see that the fitness (in Oldspeak) guys have been turned over. Looking at the gut on Pickett and Motlop in Round 1 last year; good idea. Although it is implausible that they could have sucked that much in always when in view of the continuing elements of the Football Dept. From the pictures of training, Robbo appears closer to his MTOW (maximum take-off weight) which bodes a better year.

3/ Jolly, Armstrong, and others have their premiership medallions. It doesn't mean that they are more than good ordinary players. It means that the Dees have erred in the going for too much depth rather than the top end.

Junior at 30 y.o. could embarass you but then he wouldn't be there.

4/ Selection.

426 in lieu of Dunn proved to be a bad as generally expected. A logical criticism but perhaps harsh.

Yze, the games-record monkey is riding high on the back of MFC. I used to speculate what the Gergatron did after he migrated south, with the Coach-Goat photo that he had on the inside of his locker door. It is in reality "a short step" not confronting the disabling issue of misplaced loyalty and expectation.

On the positive side, we have a good young team of robust midfielders, Dunn and Miller off one his best games. It just frustrates the hell out of me that we could apparently easily improve in some areas by just deciding to do so.

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..........

3/ Jolly, Armstrong, and others have their premiership medallions. It doesn't mean that they are more than good ordinary players. It means that the Dees have erred in the going for too much depth rather than the top end.

Jolly was a rookie and Armas taken at No 25 in the 2001 draft. How do you link them wirh the going for too much depth rather than the top end?

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Jolly was a rookie and Armas taken at No 25 in the 2001 draft. How do you link them wirh the going for too much depth rather than the top end?

1/ Possibly we retained Jolly and Armstrong too long when we knew that they were destined to be depth players not first stringers. Better to roll the dice again.

We retained Bizzell for depth rather than make do with Bell or Wheatley or Johnson. His 2005 was good but not a patch on his 2002. Didn't play in 2006. 2007?? His form in 2004 suggested that 2002 form was gone.

We retained 426 and Lamb too long similarly.

2/ But what I really meant is that we could clear out most of our depth players, confident that if needed, we can pick up ANOTHER TEAM'S "Jolly" or "Arma".

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1/ Possibly we retained Jolly and Armstrong too long when we knew that they were destined to be depth players not first stringers. Better to roll the dice again.

We retained Bizzell for depth rather than make do with Bell or Wheatley or Johnson. His 2005 was good but not a patch on his 2002. Didn't play in 2006. 2007?? His form in 2004 suggested that 2002 form was gone.

We retained 426 and Lamb too long similarly.

2/ But what I really meant is that we could clear out most of our depth players, confident that if needed, we can pick up ANOTHER TEAM'S "Jollyu" or "Arma".

Steve,

Jolly was the back up to White and spat the dummy about lack of opportunity to be No 1 in 2004. I thought we traded him at the right time. In 2004, had White gone down we would had a very green Jamar to follow.

Armas was possibly held a year too long but may have had a contractual arrrangment to cover that. More a poor draft selection

Bizz was retained as a player to compete for best 22 in 2005 especially with the untimely death of Troy B. Bizz had the Club over a barrel wanting 3 years. Club wanted 2 and caved in then gave him 3 years. I would have let him walk at that point rather than given him 3 years.

426 possibly deserved another year fully fit without injury or illness to see if he made the grade. He did not and was not good enough. Draft selection policy in question regarding the risk of taking big men early in the draft.

The retention of Lamb for so long on our list was an error as was using such a high pick for him (Pick 13 in 1998)

However I am not sure how the retention of these players as depth has curtailed the Club's access to the top quality players. Aside from Jolly none of the players had trade value at respective points. There is probably more of an issue with draft selection. However overall CAC's record is pretty good.

Furthemore we did not have draft pick access to the cream of the competition. So while I note your sentiments about some players I dont understand how the retention issue blocks the focus on higher talent.

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1/ Possibly we retained Jolly and Armstrong too long when we knew that they were destined to be depth players not first stringers. Better to roll the dice again.

We retained 426 and Lamb too long similarly.

2/ But what I really meant is that we could clear out most of our depth players, confident that if needed, we can pick up ANOTHER TEAM'S "Jolly" or "Arma".

Something I've been encouraged by in the last few years is how the footy department have been willing to give players who have had slow starts to their careers every opportunity to prove themselves. It's interesting that both you and RR see the lingering retention of 426, Lamb and Arma as mistakes. As it happens, I agree with you wholeheartedly in at least those 3 cases. I am totally behind the dismissing of these three, as it's clear they were all fairly limited in one way or another. While they were at the club, they were favourites of mine and I would have been pleased to see them remain, assuming they went forward as players and became solid contributors, but I can see that I was perhaps a bit naive in my bind faith.

But hindsight is a wonderful thing isn't it? ND has made a frustrating habit of NOT playing the kids when he's had the opportunity in the past (2006 was an improvement in this area). Perhaps as a direct result of a lack of free space in the 22, he's given these youngsters roughly 4 years instead of 2 to make sure he's left no stone unturned.

While I agree that the hard decisions should be made in regard to the list, as there's only so many spots, I'm still pleased to know that any player drafted to the club, even the ones drafted below 50, come to MFC safe in the knowledge that they will be given EVERY opportunity whether there's room in the 22 for them or not. If you had to choose between the Swans and the Dees as a rookie, surely you'd take the dees, and work twice as hard seeing as there's actually hope you may get a run.

A fairly sound example of this is with Juice. A less thorough club could have looked at his year and said that he was unable to be regularly selected in the Sandy 1s, and with little physical improvement, perhaps 2 years was enough? He was after all taken at the arse-end of his draft, as a bottom-age speculative recruit. Newton's weaknesses may seem more severe when you consider the relative success of Dunn and Bate who are of a similar height, and are of the same age. This habit of sticking with players for longer than they may deserve could pay dividends. At very least I hope to see him make some sort of impact so that perhaps if we have problems with him, he may have some prade potential.

I would love to know what goes on in CAC's head at times like these. Does MFC's treatment of slowly developing players come out of a solid confidence in CAC's own recruiting? Or does it come from the fear that, through premature delistings, they may have missed a gem that was right under their noses?

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    TRAINING: Monday 16th January 2023

    STINGA'S TRAINING REPORT Went with a friend to watch training this morning.  They have 3 sets of temporary grandstands set up next to the rooms for spectators and get a good view of everything. Fritsch was the only absentee and J Smith was on the bike for the whole session. Everyone in their own numbers except JVR in 44,   Kye Turner is 47 and Burgoyne 33. Started off with goal kicking which has been described before. Then an agility routine where where they ducked aroun

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    Training Reports

    TRAINING: Friday 13th January 2023

    REDLEGS23'S TRAINING REPORT Got to training about 9:50 & headed off by 11:30. Rehab / Light Drills: • Jed Adams • Kyah Farris-White • Will Varrall • I think i spotted Joel Smith, but could be wrong. The above doing light drills. Andy Moniz-Wakefield & Trent Burgoyne doing seperate laps / runs for the whole session. James Harmes, Angus Brayshaw & Steven May all started with the main group but then progressed to light duties / laps for the remainder of th

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    Training Reports

    TRAINING: Wednesday 11th January 2023

    WAYNE WUSSELL'S TRAINING REPORT Haven’t noticed Oliver, Petracca and Hunter, just about everyone else accounted for. Petracca here! J Smith striding out in rehab. BB taking lots of shots on goal after session marking in goal square v Stafford Younger players tending to float short passes to leading forward (D Smith, 33, 39, KF-S) while Petracca, Viney, Kossie, ANB shoot hard and low bullets Harmes, Verall, & Adams doing agility, ball handling JVR stand out in te

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    Training Reports
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