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TRAINING: Wednesday 18th January 2023


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Morning all. First time at Goschs for a while, there’s a scoreboard set up which I’ve never seen here before. Possible match sim?

Williams yelling out to players to get their hands off hips during drills. Gus looks fine to me.

Absolutely., first two mins of match sim and his kicking is exquisite on both sides. He’s moving incredibly well. 

Some observations from a match sim drill that lasted about 15-20 mins.

The purpose seemed to be fast ball movement from the backline with players linking up through the middle and hitting forwards on the lead or over the defenders heads as the forwards ran  behind them to an open goal. The play would end when a forward took a mark deep or scored a goal, play would resume instantly from the back with the non-possessing team now pushing back to defend really hard and fast. Coaches were screaming at players to do just that.

Kozzie looks in immaculate condition and was a standout in the short time I watched.

Spargo never misses a target and he’s really clever when you watch him closely. He has a very good sidestep.

Viney is Viney, just doesn’t stop harassing and getting in your face.

Hunter is really good at finding free space on his wing and drifting forward to become an option. 

Schache looks really good, I liked his movement and involvement deep forward. Will be interesting to see how we use him.

Melksham another looking really good.

Ben Brown was having shots at goal prior to the match sim drill. Left knee bandaged, didn’t see him after that.


I'm here too.

My God, Kozzie is all class. Very wet conditions but he's kicking like a dry day

Haven't seen Blake Howes

ANB looking super fit.

Seston has hips and legs like Lethal Leigh! Must build a tank though

Woey has put on considerable size 

Lever and J Smith were around earlier. Not doing match sim. Non contact 

Melksham good skills in the wet during match sim

Fritter smothers Pig kick out of defence, collects, turns, snap on the left for goal. Classic Fritter

Grundy last by a long way in every half ground run through

Jefferson looks good but is very, very light. Knickname should be Pirate. Give him 12 months in the gym. Good hands and a beautiful kicking action. Needs time and development, but has much potential. Got a bit of it in match sim.

JvR did well today, very assured, put on size over summer

Setson and his tree trunk legs

In the kick and mark session near the end I saw Grundy, Tmac, JvR and another drop 7 marks in a row. The marks that were eventually held were two or three grabs. I know it's wet and early January, but it no joke when fans over the fence are laughing at simple spilled marks.


Grundy looked a long way off all session. Positioning and marking aren’t a strong suit, and whilst he got involved with some ground balls with good vigour he didn’t do anything with it.

He was probably the biggest individual downside.

The tempo is incredibly fast, I’d still like to see more switching and run and carry with forward handballs to open up space. There’s some lovely fast aggressive kicks that pay off but faster long down the line purely for the sake of being faster won’t make us better.

I agree Chandler had a strong session with some good positioning, attack at the contest and tackling.

Pickett, May, Hibberd, Salem, Petty, Langdon, Melksham were others that looked good.

McVee was the big improver. Not sure about top end speed but he looks genuinely quick, and he was scything through traffic with ease with solid disposal. My immediate thought was he’s likely to debut this year. 

JVR was his typical energetic self, crashed in to some packs and his follow up is exceptional, he has a desire for tackling that we haven’t seen from a tall. Need to see a dry day to see if he can hold a few more. Hibbo and Petty mostly had him covered.

Big Kyah contested for a mark with Gus and quickly came down and was back on to the loose ball. Whilst he’s a long way off it’s nice to see the athleticism is as advertised. 

Was good to see Deak Smith back in training too. 

K Turner had some moments, he covers ground very easily and looks a natural runner for a tall. D Turner had a great goal saving tackle at one point, he looks super fit and lean. Lockdown back has to be an option for him, and I even wonder if he finds himself stuck in the key back log jam if he can contribute to the midfield. 

Jefferson (unsurprisingly) got moved out of the way by May a couple of times in match sim and was otherwise quiet. But he did swoop on to a loose ball nicely. In fact that’s probably the standout flash I’ve seen from him - he changed direction and accelerates like a talented player.

Burgoyne in full training, moves well, seems clean enough, got in to space a couple of times. But not heavily involved so far.

Haven’t seen Howes or J Smith. Only briefly saw BBB.

AMW did some repeat runs and has spent the time off legs building a solid upper body. 

No Lever. And Adams and Verrell doing their own thing as per usual 

Petty’s copped about 6 injuries in the last 20 minutes. Think he just popped a finger out.


What a terrible day to be a trackwatcher, but wow, was it worth it.

It rained just about the whole time and the standard of play was very good given the conditions.  Ball handling was generally clean, very few dropped marks but of course very few contested marks taken.

Training is great fun compared to the old days. Today’s training mainly consisted of handball keepings off game and match sims which are good fun to watch. At the start of training Lever, Howes and J Smith did a couple of little handball drills but not much else and were not sighted by me after the proper stuff started. AMW did his usual boundary running but there is no lateral movement in his training yet so I'd imagine he's still a long way off.  Verrall and Adams also doing bits and pieces and quite a lot of running and as far as I could tell everyone else was in full training.

The match sims are interesting. They are now played at full pace with what I call "respectful tackling" but the intensity is there and the players are really determined. There is also an "interchange bench" where players are practicing going on and off the field when the situation allows, but it's a designed part of practice, not just some random interchanges.

Players like Trac and Oliver do their thing and look to be pacing themselves a bit to me but that doesn't seem to apply to Viney who is just in ripping form at the moment.

There were two standouts for me today. Langdon must be invisible because nobody was near him all day in the match sims and just kept on getting it. His ball handling is good and his kicking was precise. The other standout was Chandler. His tackling was ferocious and he's so clean with the ball in the wet.  He'll put real pressure on the small forwards this year because he just looks ready and very keen.

For Dazzle I can report that Jefferson was quiet but it wasn't a tall forwards day.  JVR and TMac were also quiet and that just puts it in perspective.  Burgoyne was interesting.  I thought he did quite well without dominating.  He was involved in quite a few passages of play but to me he doesn't have the x factor that a lot of the First Nations players do. Based on what I've seen he'd be behind Chandler and AMW and I doubt he'd be picked up but there's a bit of water to go under the bridge yet.

Others to impress me today were Trent Rivers who seems to be more imposing than previous years.  He looks big and strong and is now a man rather than a boy. Judd McVee was clean in what he did and Woey was also pretty good at times. Fritter was good around goal and very clean and Melk did a couple of eye catching things.  Kossie was just out there having fun, nobody could catch him and he just did what he pleased.  The other positive was Salo who was involved more than I've seen him.  Hunter found the ball regularly and his kicking is just great and to confuse the selectors even more JJ was clean and involved with good kicking.  Oh, and Seston produced some really good kicking during the sims.

All in all most players showed good patches but the comment from Monday's reporter about the young kids looking good in the drills but a bit lost in the sims is so spot on. The major problem we will face at the beginning of the season is going to be the selectors trying to work out who to play. There are a lot of contenders for multiple spots and there will be some disappointed and hard done by players.


Lovely day for it, that is, for going hard and making an effort (without the heat).

They made the most of it, plenty of omf, hits and gut running in the sims.

Amazed by the number of fans, at least 80 of us. Made a good atmosphere. The players really are happy out there, I have seen and heard the talk, support, and camaraderie that shows our culture is fine at the Dee's. There also seems to be a sense of equality amongst them.

The warm-ups included some funny movements and body positions. High knee runs, with arms folded, and body turned sideways. I think it creates balance and gets the legs carrying when the body is contorted. Must have a purpose, no matter the Monty Python funny walk appearance.

Anyway, the kicking drills aren't much better. Six points in a rectangle by two sets. I think six balls a set. Appears chaotic, as they lead and kick into (what has some method) each of the points. They handled very well considering the slippery conditions.

The next drill is through three lines and grouping at each end, 80 meters apart, with a player starting in the middle who rotates in and out. They kick and handball to either leading players from the other end or use a short pass to the central player, or go lateral to one of the other lines. Eight players involved, with three balls moving from end to end. Really making them use the eyes and brain to make decisions. Then they extend the length of the run through. 

They break into two stations, one a handball game, the other handball with a team being able to kick to a leading player and his opposition, or score the handball. Both competitive.

Next one is some tackling practice, then the sims.

I liked K Turner and McVeeSalem doing some beautiful long passes, Schache was having some good involvement. May and Tomlinson stopping lots of attacks. Langdon and Hunter competed well against each other. Plenty of action in closed areas, as tackling and fumbles made for some scrambling footy. A few kicks and hopes, but generally most plays were done with intention. The sims were played at great intensity, as there were no stoppages and another ball was in quickly once the forwards got a mark or kick on goal.

After sims, they broke into stations of, goal kicking or one on one marking. Then some hard boundary running to finish. 

On 1/18/2023 at 9:51 AM, Dee Zephyr said:

Morning all. First time at Goschs for a while, there’s a scoreboard set up which I’ve never seen here before. Possible match sim?

I've seen the score board  twice now.

It seems red versus blue the blue tops. They appear to keep score in all activities they have a competitive edge to them. Blue won the day by 2 points, I think 217 to 219. Blue led most of the session then red hit the front late into sims, and finally blue kicked an easy goal to win it. There was a score that favoured blue even before the drills started, must have done some pre-field competition. 

On 1/18/2023 at 10:41 AM, Stiff Arm said:

Seston has hips and legs like Lethal Leigh! Must build a tank though

He's getting fitter, doing much better in the runs, though not fast he has some endurance capacity. 

His kicking and hands were great today and he got a fair bit of action in the sims.

On 1/18/2023 at 10:48 AM, dazzledavey36 said:

Would love a progress update on Jefferson and Burgoyne who I believe is in full training?

Both did well in the sims, though a few ball fumbles (tough conditions). 

Jefferson made separation for himself, the backs either couldn't go with him or gave him some freedom. He still needs to lift his eyes but did some nice plays.

Burgoyne was in lots of plays in both the back area and forward area. He was very team focused, making room for and bringing in other players. A few occasions his second and third efforts made a difference. 

On 1/18/2023 at 11:17 AM, DeeSpencer said:

Petty’s copped about 6 injuries in the last 20 minutes. Think he just popped a finger out 

JvR has been slamming him. Likes to use his body to create space. Good contest, he is so close,  not easy for a marking forward in these conditions but contest very well. Petty just gets on with it, though I think he puts it into the old memory bank.

They were very eager in the sims. Good hard play and lots of gut running. 

On 1/18/2023 at 11:56 AM, Caligula's cohort said:

Interested to hear about Laurie, Woewodin and McVee today from our track watchers thanks.

Laurie, is always hunting that loose ball off the packs,  but seems to be a bit away from the contest and is often blocked and others get to it first. Did some nice tackles, finds it difficult to be involved. 

Woewodin, is running the lines very well. His endurance is building. He and Chandler both started the sims on the wing. Tackling well, creating overlaps and links. Looking strong.

McVee, good involvement, bringing pressure, finding the ball and making good decisions. 

On 1/18/2023 at 1:01 PM, george_on_the_outer said:

A bit worried about Grundy.  Just doesn't take one grabs ( and yes it was slippery), but he doesn't look to be all that fit.  Was streets behind the others in his running group, but was also lagging in the match sim. 

I felt the same early on in the sims. Late into the action he came into his own. He ran hard and got to more contest and covered the zone in the back-line area. He made good decisions with the ball and was the factor that brought the red tops back onto contention.


Kade Chandler was in absolutely everything. Tackling Steven May to the ground, that's hard for someone twice his size, but Kade did it!. He just kept throwing himself into every contest, and would have to be making a serious tilt for a full time slot in the seniors. 

Viney v Petracca head on?   Frightening to watch as the immovable met the unstoppable.  Both bounced off and continued on their merry way. 

A bit worried about Grundy. Just doesn't take one grabs (and yes it was slippery), but he doesn't look to be all that fit.  Was streets behind the others in his running group, but was also lagging in the match sim. 

The usual benchmark of who is on the track post 1 Jan is promising. J Smith seems to be the only semi permanent out, at the moment, although AMW looks a long way off with only running exercises. Hopefully Lever and Howes are just temporary stays from the main group.


Just back at The Manor and thawing out - I dressed for a balmy day rather than arctic conditions.

The comprehensive reports above cover most things but I will add couple of observations.

For me, the standout player across all drills was May. He started with some goal kicking (pretty good too) but was very prominent in all the simulation drills.He wasn't saying much but was very physical and aggressive towards getting possession and using it well. He was setting an example and a standard . He looked super fit (although I didn't stay for the final run throughs) and, on today's showing, I'm really looking forward to an AA season.

It appears BBB still has some work to do. He looked ok in the short goal kicking drill but when he had a kick from about 50 it fell well short. I didn't see much of him after that and I suppose he's on a special program.

Saw a first (for me anyway). Clarry came off during one of the simulations. He was blowing a bit and was handed an inhaler. He had a couple of puffs and seemed fine. Is this usual for him?

Had a few looks at JvR. Good shoulders and lean rather than bulky upper body muscles. There's physical development left in him. He flew for a couple of marks but I didn't see one stick. However, he wasn't alone in that given the conditions.

My overall impression of the session was intensity and enthusiasm. I was close to the "interchange area" for one of the match sims and was interested to note that players on the "bench" were having animated discussions about tactics and positioning - again a high level of passion about doing the job well.

The overall "vibe' was very upbeat and made me very upbeat about 2023.


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