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TRAINING: Wednesday 25th January 2023


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Today’s Herald Sun features some stories from yesterday’s preseason training sessions including one from Rebecca Williams on Melbourne training on Page 63 (no online link but here’s part of it covering an update on the skipper who trained early and beat most of the track watchers):

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The article goes on to cover some other aspects which I summarize below:

FORWARD FOCUS

JvR has impressed track watchers with his preseason form over summer. He “provided a strong and mobile marking target for the Demons during match play on Wednesday”, with some impressive overhead marking.

With TMac in full training after the foot injury which curtailed him in the second half of last year, this augurs well for the club’s forward stocks.

WELCOME BACK

TMac’s teammates didn’t go easy on him during match play. Trent Rivers applying a heavy spoil on him while going for a mark and gave away a free kick but TMac decided to play on and had a free paid against him when Rivers launched a fierce tackle that brought him to the ground.

INJURY LIST

Melbourne GM of football performance Alan Richardson is on the injury list. He had his right foot in a moon boot yesterday at Goschs Paddock.

LIGHT WORK

Jake Lever (bruised foot), Jake Melksham (minor calf issue), Charlie Spargo and Joel Smith (ankle surgery) were among those on modified training loads. 

The Demons expect all of the players to integrate back into full training over the next 1-2 weeks.

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16 hours ago, kev martin said:

A bit of a hot day, very little wind, great time to get the conditioning up. They worked hard all session. Finishing with running the fartlek program. They were pushing hard.

The training's have a pattern about them now. They start with some goal kicking before the 9.30 official start, some are still making their way down from AAMI. Today the emphasis was on snaps. 5 mannequins in an arc, that a player moves from one to the next for a repeat of 5 snaps on the move. Sestan and Bailey thrived, Chandler did alright as well. Sparrow's kicking them from the boundary as Langdon attempts to keep up.

Into the warm-up, then some small movement handballs along the lines to a central coach, then below the knee pick-ups. Kicking drill of 8 groups and about 6 balls. White group drill with white, and blue drills with blue. Appears chaotic, highly skilled, and makes them pick out their own team. They then expand the area.

The next one, is the 3× line, run throughs, 3 balls and a player rotating the central position. Plenty of switches, short and long passes, handballs, bounces, and communication. Some have a bib on and seem to be defensive and/or swinging. No tackling practice this time, they made up for that in the sims.

The scoreboard remained nil all. It started scoring as they went into the handball games. A group playing with goals at each end of a rectangle (20×45 meters). The other a game with goals near the handball contest and a leading forward 50 meters away.

Blue got a jump on white, but was quickly negated when the sims started, as white got off to a flyer, then blue came back at them. The result of the session went down to the wire. The timer was on and three scores in the last 4 minutes (blue once, white twice), left white one kick from taking the day.

Liked the way Hunter plays, runs the rails and keeps wide, reliable, hands, kicks, and decisions. Sparrow's working hard and powerfully., Viney’s everywhere, Jefferson gets to the right places, Verrall showed a bit, has agility and able to stay in the contest when the ball hits the ground, Schache made some good leads, Fritch working hard on his defensive forward role, May is getting stronger and appeared to captain the whites, Kossie looks to be doing the midfield work, Sestan is a smart player, though I haven't seen his defensive game yet. A few players were burnt when the ball mover decided to go down the central corridor, instead of to a player near the boundary. We locked the ball in the forward area a few times, which had Goody and Yze calling out with support.

Some of our quick ball movement was a thing of beauty.

A good crowd down there to watch them (more than 100), plenty of the players signed autographs.

NUDGE'S TRAINING REPORT

Love it. Great detail and really appreciated.  

Have 2 concerns.  

1- In 2022, Dees appeared to go wide and wide and slow.  Often our attackers were easily cornered across the boundary line or had little space to work.  Sounds like we will play the same wide boundary type game.  That’s too easy to defend imv.  The corridor is harder but comes with greater rewards.  It takes real skill to penetrate through the corridor. Would love to see that challenge taken onboard.  

2- our 2022 useless obsession with kicking to the (deep) forward pocket.  High and wide to the pocket again.  😡 … Is that still on show?  We are told “it easier to then defend as less goals are given up if the opposition rebounds”.  Ffs. Take on our talent and confidence.  We attack to score.  Get it to the hot spot.  Hit targets.  How we bring the ball inside our forward 50 is probably the biggest impact change we can deliver in 2023. Get it right and I’m confident we will win 🏆 it again. 

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50 minutes ago, spirit of norm smith said:

 The corridor is harder but comes with greater rewards.  It takes real skill to penetrate through the corridor. Would love to see that challenge taken onboard.  

It appears some are trying to get the central corridors into play with more aggressive kicks. The ones that were turned over came from players trying to "thread the needle" or were a bit slow in making the decision, allowing for the defender, sometimes defenders to pick of the pass. I noticed that at the same time our flankers gave them options.

Great they are going for it, and hoping they learn when and how.

The best plays of yesterday came about when the backs switched and overlaps were created.

50 minutes ago, spirit of norm smith said:

obsession with kicking to the (deep) forward pocket.  High and wide to the pocket again.  😡 … Is that still on show

There were plenty of long kicks into the forward area. It appears they are trying to get the ball over the back of the defenders. Turn them and allow the lead towards the goal.

The leads to the pockets were mainly when the forwards got separation and had a straight lead.

The kick to packs happened a few times,  but it was not necessarily into a pocket area.

Come game time, I can still see them resorting to the pocket (hold the ball in there), unless we get a dominate tall forward, that they can rely on.

Edited by kev martin
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41 minutes ago, dees189227 said:

Gee I hope Clayton fixes that hairstyle before round 1 

I’d prefer that he get his thumb (?) / hand (?) / wrist (?)  fixed first. 😄

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On 1/26/2023 at 5:22 AM, picket fence said:

Thanks Nudge for a great review!

What was your take on Matt Jefferson?

Led well and is a natural at taking marks at highest point. Great natural leads too has bulked up considerably already so by time halfway mark comes he’ll be a big boy! Also really good around corner and at ground level for a big boy 

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16 hours ago, spirit of norm smith said:

Love it. Great detail and really appreciated.  

Have 2 concerns.  

1- In 2022, Dees appeared to go wide and wide and slow.  Often our attackers were easily cornered across the boundary line or had little space to work.  Sounds like we will play the same wide boundary type game.  That’s too easy to defend imv.  The corridor is harder but comes with greater rewards.  It takes real skill to penetrate through the corridor. Would love to see that challenge taken onboard.  

2- our 2022 useless obsession with kicking to the (deep) forward pocket.  High and wide to the pocket again.  😡 … Is that still on show?  We are told “it easier to then defend as less goals are given up if the opposition rebounds”.  Ffs. Take on our talent and confidence.  We attack to score.  Get it to the hot spot.  Hit targets.  How we bring the ball inside our forward 50 is probably the biggest impact change we can deliver in 2023. Get it right and I’m confident we will win 🏆 it again. 

Read my report if you can — this is the exact highlight for me yesterday as I saw the exact opposite of this and keep hearing goodie has given into Ooze re more corridor and faster movement but also more backwards and switching to create space. Saw NO bombed entries to pockets at ALL and this was highlight of the day for me.. all long entries were to a player running toward goal ie streaming into 50 from centre or wing etc but very few kicks to i50 were to packs at all maybe 1-2 but mainly wings only not i50.

Apart from that trial academy kid Cooper Simpson - wow he was sooo good - I didn’t even notice Zane.

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