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Thanks to all who provide training reports over the summer, it's greatly appreciated to myself and others unable to attend. I have noticed almost every report touches on drills involving our ball movement, particularly forward of 50 and entering the forward 50. It seems as though the coaching team have identified this as our biggest area of weakness over the past two seasons. Having watched our rise and fall between 2018 and 2019 like a hawk, picking apart our strategy with and without possession to understand where we could improve, I landed on the fact that we are just so easy to score against in transition. When the ball was turned over, we simply had no capacity to set up and form of defensive mechanism to prevent a scoring opportunity for the opposition.

Now, this was an area of concern for me in 2018 when we were supposedly flying also. We got torched by the sharper teams such as Richmond and Collingwood, hence the "they can't beat a top 8 team" tag that followed us the entire way through the 2018 campaign, right up until we beat an out of sorts Geelong and Hawthorn with no O'Meara and Mitchell with one shoulder. I'm curious to know if any of the track watchers can report on this aspect of our game. How is our team defence looking? Do we think it's simply a matter of fitness? Is there a significant portion of time being allocated to fixing this deficiency?

Edited by Mondê
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1 hour ago, Mondê said:

Thanks to all who provide training reports over the summer, it's greatly appreciated to myself and others unable to attend. I have noticed almost every report touches on drills involving our ball movement, particularly forward of 50 and entering the forward 50. It seems as though the coaching team have identified this as our biggest area of weakness over the past two seasons. Having watched our rise and fall between 2018 and 2019 like a hawk, picking apart our strategy with and without possession to understand where we could improve, I landed on the fact that we are just so easy to score against in transition. When the ball was turned over, we simply had no capacity to set up and form of defensive mechanism to prevent a scoring opportunity for the opposition.

Now, this was an area of concern for me in 2018 when we were supposedly flying also. We got torched by the sharper teams such as Richmond and Collingwood, hence the "they can't beat a top 8 team" tag that followed us the entire way through the 2018 campaign, right up until we beat an out of sorts Geelong and Hawthorn with no O'Meara and Mitchell with one shoulder. I'm curious to know if any of the track watchers can report on this aspect of our game. How is our team defence looking? Do we think it's simply a matter of fitness? Is there a significant portion of time being allocated to fixing this deficiency?

It seems the drill I watched at training on Monday focused on defending and transition between attack and defence.

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3 hours ago, Mondê said:

Thanks to all who provide training reports over the summer, it's greatly appreciated to myself and others unable to attend. I have noticed almost every report touches on drills involving our ball movement, particularly forward of 50 and entering the forward 50. It seems as though the coaching team have identified this as our biggest area of weakness over the past two seasons. Having watched our rise and fall between 2018 and 2019 like a hawk, picking apart our strategy with and without possession to understand where we could improve, I landed on the fact that we are just so easy to score against in transition. When the ball was turned over, we simply had no capacity to set up and form of defensive mechanism to prevent a scoring opportunity for the opposition.

Now, this was an area of concern for me in 2018 when we were supposedly flying also. We got torched by the sharper teams such as Richmond and Collingwood, hence the "they can't beat a top 8 team" tag that followed us the entire way through the 2018 campaign, right up until we beat an out of sorts Geelong and Hawthorn with no O'Meara and Mitchell with one shoulder. I'm curious to know if any of the track watchers can report on this aspect of our game. How is our team defence looking? Do we think it's simply a matter of fitness? Is there a significant portion of time being allocated to fixing this deficiency?

 

Good points M.

I reckon the defènce presses up the ground leaving them exposed  when a team kicks over the top ahead of their forwards who flood back.

When I go to the game with my mate who has played a lot of footy I always hear him yelling "someone in the goal square pleeeease" and I am surprised how often when there is a player there it results in an effective defence and often allows a structure to rebound.

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Easy transitions for our opponents arise when the ball movement into our forward line is so poor as to almost invite an easy repulse and transition.

Moving the ball into the forward line with purpose and skill and holding it there will mitigate the problem. Get the forward line working properly should be the key.

At that point, a single defender behind the ball is the best strategy to protect against transitions.

2020

Go dees.

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There hasn't been enough full match sim to make any declarative statements and even then it's impossible to tell until the real stuff starts.

That said, last year was a write off in terms of working out where the strengths and weaknesses lie, but if we go back to 2018 the biggest problem with our defending was midfield transition.

Our forward pressure was ok and lifted in the run in to finals. Our backline had plenty of good moments, but it seemed they had to be super aggressive and go for the intercepts up the ground because if they sat back teams would coast through our mids.

Tomlinson and Langdon are big inclusions to make sure the wings have proper two way run. Harmes to a half back flank I'd imagine is to get a player who can cut off a lot of transition attempts. Those 3 should be tasked with getting in the right positions to cut off the easy targets, which in turn hopefully forces long kicks to Lever patrolling half back or May at full back. 

The inside mids - as with all our players - are doing a heap of work on transition drills. Viney is clearly having a better preseason and can be really important in that part of the game. Oliver is fitter again and whilst he'll never be an endurance machine he has the burst and instincts to pressure. Brayshaw can't be as bad as last year. Petracca is the wildcard, in theory his aerial ability, reading of the play and burst should be as useful defending as attacking but he has to have the motor.

Defensive personnel is a bit of a concern (2nd key defender, mid sized depth) as is finding the right mix between pressure and attacking players up forward, but the team is absolutely drilling two way work rate.

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1 hour ago, DeeSpencer said:

There hasn't been enough full match sim to make any declarative statements and even then it's impossible to tell until the real stuff starts.

 

That's the truth. 

We are not going to see the defensive structures and how individuals fit into those structures and the expectations of how they will act in certain scenario's at an open training session. 

Even more so on Gosch's paddock which is undersized compared to the grounds on which we play in the main season. ( ground size is one of the contributing factors as to why Geelong fail in finals ).

Same for the forwards.  It is not just Tommy at FF, Weid at HF etc.  How they will run their patterns is unknown to us until the first game.

One of the reasons for Maroochydore is to get away from prying eyes, or Casey or indoors at MSAC.  

Wish we were in Essendons situation, who run their sessions inside an aircraft sized hanger,  with 2 ovals outside in size equivalent to the MCG and Docklands. 

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On 1/29/2020 at 12:29 PM, DeeSpencer said:

Harmes to a half back flank I'd imagine is to get a player who can cut off a lot of transition attempts. 

Interested in your thoughts on Harmes switch to the backline in particular Spencer.

I must admit I've been a bit perplexed by the reports of Harmes training with the backline.  He adds so much grunt and line breaking ability in the midfield that my first reaction is why would you want to take him out of there.  But I'm guessing that we have plenty of other grunt midfielders that with the benefits of a decient preseason could fill that void (your full post seemed to alude to that as well).  I'm also guessing that line breaking ability of Harmes could be used to good effect to launch attacks from the back half (he probably has better accuracy, vision and ball placement with his disposals than Hibbard) and that they could also still inject him into the midfield in bursts if the need arrises to exert a bit more dominance in there.

What attributes of Harmes in particular do you see that have driven this move to the backline?

Edited by Rodney (Balls) Grinter
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4 hours ago, Rodney (Balls) Grinter said:

Interested in your thoughts on Harmes switch to the backline in particular Spencer.

I must admit I've been a bit perplexed by the reports of Harmes training with the backline.  He adds so much grunt and line breaking ability in the midfield that my first reaction is why would you want to take him out of there.  But I'm guessing that we have plenty of other grunt midfielders that with the benefits of a decient preseason could fill that void (your full post seemed to alude to that as well).  I'm also guessing that line breaking ability of Harmes could be used to good effect to launch attacks from the back half (he probably has better accuracy, vision and ball placement with his disposals than Hibbard) and that they could also still inject him into the midfield in bursts if the need arrises to exert a bit more dominance in there.

What attributes of Harmes in particular do you see that have driven this move to the backline?

I think we have a lot of lock down defenders, but aside from 2017 and Hibbard we have not had anyone that can play the Houli or Laird type role, where they pick up 25 to 30+ possessions and are damaging.  My guess is that’s what they want Harmes to be and he is more than capable of it.  He’s a great stopper while also getting the ball himself.

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