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Dees_In_October

AFLW: Training - Tuesday, 11th December 2018

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It’s that rare beast – an AFLW training report.

Disclaimer: I’m terrible at recognising players without their numbers and haven’t put names to faces for the new recruits. So my observations are quite generalised.

The main drill I witnessed was moving the ball from end to end, re-setting once the defensive team touched it. The players were divided into four teams for this, at first playing on two smaller sized areas, which saw lots of missed short kicks and drops marks (at least in the drill closest to me). Paxman stood out and was constantly in motion, even while the drill was re-starting. Then the area was expanded, with the four teams rotating on and off. They had more success with this, hitting targets better and switching with some fluency. Someone got put down in a hard tackle; after a short break, play resumed, so probably just precautionary checks. There were some nice evasive moves in this drill from players who were not familiar to me so that either bodes well for our new additions or poorly for my eyesight.

Next up, they split into line groups – no positional surprises there in terms of this year’s players. Defenders practiced spoiling from behind; mids roved to L. Pearce and worked on clearing to outside runners; forwards practiced goal kicking. Rushed set shots was a major bugbear of mine this year, so I was happy to hear them being exhorted to take the full 30 seconds. Even still, some were taking them too quickly in my reckoning. Zanker has a great action and Cunningham struck a nice one from a fair distance. Back to the mids – away from the main group were Paxman, O’Dea and (I’m fairly certain) Mithen, practicing their positioning and bodywork at ball ups.

Onto the most critical part of any pre-season training report: hats. A startling lack of hats – perhaps as summer players most prefer to practice as they play? There were some visors though, all facing forwards, none backwards.

There were a couple of players running laps, my best guess would be Patterson and Emonson. Aside from that there were no noticeable players recovering or absentees, although now that I think of it, I didn’t notice Kate Hore or Talia Radan, who I guess is the first AFLW premiership player on our list. 

Daisy stood out as always but for different reasons than usual, of course. She was behind the boundary line when I first got there but was soon between the drills providing encouragement and feedback with the coaches.

Overall, there were positive vibes. I wouldn’t say they’ve quite trained the house all the way down, but I hope to get along to a post-Xmas session to check the progress.

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