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TRAINING: Wednesday 25th January 2023


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Rehab Group:

Lever (in runners but kicking the ball well and seems to be moving well), Max (not present), Melksham, Howes, AMW, J Smith - then later joined by the following not participating in contract drills/Match SIM - Brown, Spargo, D Turner, Verrall, Adams

 Stafford was out early with Grundy & Verrall doing ruck drills. 

White Guernseys:

May, Bowey, Trac, JVR, Rivers, Sestan, Nibbler, Kozzie, Grundy, Hunter, Harmes, Fritsch, Laurie, Jordon, K Turner, #46 (may be Cooper Simpson from Dandenong Stingrays

Blue Guernseys

Clarry, Salem, Langdon, TMac, Brown, Tomlinson, Brayshaw, Dunstan, Spargo, Chandler, Petty, Burgoyne, Jefferson, Adams, Sparrow, McVee, Schache, D Smith, Hibberd, Viney (wearing #24), Woey, #44 (May be Zane Duursma)

Disco Turner doing some short sprints and sideways runs with a trainer away from main group and rehab group. 

Farris-White in civvies behind the fence not doing any training. Been told he is not training as a result of concussion. 

Jefferson lovely hands and very clean disposal

Kozzie is everything, everywhere all at once. I’ll eat my hat if he isn’t playing more midfield minutes this season. 

Reiterate Laurie’s poor disposal that someone mentioned the other day. Missed a couple of targets. I normally wouldn’t have noticed but someone mentioned it the other day and I saw 2 instances in a couple of minutes. 

Bowey and Salem are so clean with long disposal off half back. 

Lachie Hunter is going to be a weapon for us on the opposite wing to Langdon

I don’t know what our forward setup will be with so many options at our disposal but JVR will be playing Round 1. 

If you wrote off Hibberd write him back on. 

Impressed with Schache’s marking and disposal. Time will tell whether he can break into the team and be more than just a like for like for Weid

Disco Turner now just running laps at a decent pace.

Doing the whites vs blues 5 on 5 handball drill in a small circle with an alternating player on yellow as the both teams player. Goal is keepings off the other team and handball through the goal at the other end of the circle. Yellow was Trac now Brayshaw. Harmes is in yellow now. 

Woey is very skinny & wirey. Wouldn’t mind him bulking up. Like what I see though in terms of skills and intensity.

Langdon came off second best tackling JVR. Limped off to the side but is back amongst it now. 

Adams doing some work with one of the trainers away from the main group now. I would assume it’s because the main group is doing a contact drill and he is recovering from a shoulder injury. Impressed with Adams size. Was running laps later with the ruckman Verrall and is not much shorter than him.

Full ground SIM about to start. 

Beautiful kick from Laurie hit up long target. Earlier poor disposal were handballs. 

Maysie very vocal and at times quite matter of fact in his critique to players. He has a high standard that he expects from his defenders. At one time he called Kye Turner over to him and ask him to run over to him. Kye proceeded to jog over and Maysie yelled "I said [censored] run".

Trac untouchable. 

I’ll say it again Jefferson has solid hands. Once he builds up and does his apprenticeship at Casey he will be a very good addition to our forward stocks. 

Spargo running laps and not participating in the Match SIM

Oliver didn’t participate in the 5 vs 5 handball drill and I haven’t seen him handball much if at all today. Is taking marks (on the chest) and kicking the ball. 

Intensity in the Match SIM is high. 

Another group of players doing the 5 on 5 handball drill.

Viney in Yellow then Dunstan then Chandler.

Grundy took Viney down in a great tackle. 

Would love to know what role we play JJ in this season. Looking very slick at training. 

Fritsch gets a free kick against for a sling tackle on Viney

Verrell, Adams and Turner doing some kicking drills on the rugby field adjacent to the main oval.

I’ve been very impressed with Trent Rivers this training session.

Another match SIM about to start

Sparrow getting amongst it. 

TMac tries to take on Kozzie and gets dumped in a tackle. Holding the ball. 

Any question marks on Gus’ fitness should be put to bed. 

Ben Brown has not participated in any of the Match SIM or contact parts of training.

Grundy vs Schache in the Ruck

Clarry marking balls on chest. Not quite comfortable using hand. Something’s NQR

Langdon wearing the invisibility cloak. No one near him and he’s racking up possessions. 

A note about the match sim; every time a player takes a mark they have about 3 seconds to dispose of it.

Stafford taking the tall forwards in some marking and leading drills. TMac, Schache, JVR & Jefferson. 

Chaplin taking Grundy & May in some one of one marking contest drills

That’s it from me.

In summary we’re training the house down


Demonland and others have reported most of what happened so there isn't really much more to add.  I concur that 44 and 46 looked very good, 46 the pick for me with this strength and poise but I've no idea who it is.

The Wednesday format at training seems to be fairly consistent in terms of drills but the match sim today was quite different from last week.  Today was a "real" match, contested stuff, full ground and at high intensity.  There was much more kicking I thought with less overlap handball and the defenders stayed deep with the forwards making it a real contest.  Last week was more focused on working the ball forward with overlap run and kicking to a forward out the back.  Make of that what you will.  I was standing close to where the players interchanged and when they came off they were spent.  I thought Hibbo was going to have a chuck at one stage but thankfully kept it in.  Verrell did some of the match sim for the first time and I liked what I saw.  He's pretty coordinated and not scared to take the game on.  He did limited minutes but is out of the rehab group and now getting involved in the drills.  AMW was running laps until late in the session and Sparg's was doing running and not the match sims but he was doing the handball drills.  I left before the end to beat the parking inspectors so look for later reports.

Impressive today were Riv who I thought was everywhere until I realized Viney was also in 24!  Confusing at a distance.  But the real Riv was pretty impressive and looks very strong.  Tmac really does look in good condition and played well despite his error with Kossie (again, I thought it was Riv but I was obscured in my view.  JvR looked very good too and just continues to impress.  Kade Chandler won't let the coaching staff forget him, he's been very lively and his tackling is a real standout.  Kossie not as impressive today but still lively and as reported Langdon and Hunter look very good on the wings.  I'm with those that think Hunter will be excellent for us if he keeps his mind on the job.

If you had to summarize today's session beyond those I've mentioned our good players did well and the younger players struggled to get into the sims as much but almost everyone did some good stuff.

And just to save Dazzle the trouble, J Smith was in the rehab group, I just don't understand why we gave him a 2 year extension. (actually I can but that's another story)! Just having a bit of fun Daz!


Bit of a mixed bag out there today. I think the heat and grind of summer took a bit out of them and they were down a few numbers. Match sim was 14 on 14 with not too many on the benches.

Viney was probably best on, just consistently helping out down back and then chaining up again on the way forward.

JvR does look ready for a crack at it but he’s also consistently battling and often beaten with Hibbo who is having an incredible summer down back. JvR will find it easier against most afl key defenders IMO.

Petty was about the cleanest out there in a small tight handball drill. Looked good in match sim too. I really want to see him embrace his attacking game this year.

May seemed to be playing higher up and had a heap of the ball. Sometimes should take the easy one faster, which is true of a lot our players, but his aggressive kicks looked good too.

K Turner is an interesting prospect, he was often the full back for May’s white team and probably got caught between opponents at times. But his athleticism when coming at the ball stands out. Got a fist on a few balls too although one went straight to the corridor. Not the most fluent kick but his right foot does have potential. Had a good battle with Jefferson.

Jefferson: obviously a lot of work to do and doesn’t hold too many marks but there’s times where he hits the contest nicely. Has a touch of time and class to the way he moves through traffic. Got on the end of 2 early goals in a row in one of the match sims. 

Grundy was a mixed bag. At times his tackling, kicking and ground ball work is excellent. Other times his marking isn’t great and he’ll take on more than he can chew trying to evade smalls. Seems to be building though, so hard to know how much is rust.

Rivers and Bowey were good. Salem was excellent, always looks completely spent when he comes off though, but it was a hot one out there.

Hunter had his moments but probably spent a fair bit of time chasing Eddie.


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.


Well it was a real treat to get down to GP today and see the boys train well in the flesh on a lovely Melbourne Summers day!!!

I’ll keep my notes brief and in summation or dot point format if possible, as always the Reginald trackies do a bang-up job 👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻 


• First thing that really caught my eye right out of the gate was how much Clarry has altered his shape. Is far less top-heavy and far more ‘sinewy’ in I feel is an effort to utilise his first step more & be more explosive more often given the added midfield depth this year. Significant change imho 

• Thought JvR was super impressive in the flesh. Has come a LONG way condition wise & will only fill-out more but his touch in the 1-1 drills was absolute quality. What really impressed was the ‘un-teachable’ things, the nuance that comes with being a killer contested mark ala David Schwarz 1993-1994. I’m talking. About the angles, the deft touches, the use of both hands independently, the nudging of the opponent one-way whilst he angles the outside hand the other. His timing in air is still developing, but the bustling 1-1 with opponent stuff is 💯 craft that’s there and will be plenty good this season right outta the gate. He got away from Petty a few times on the lead, but was well quelled in the air by Pig or Petty, but JvR is only soaking it all up to build craft and you can see him rethinking the next contest.   

• Next standout was the all-around quality seen on both teams in the SIM on all lines. GAWN are the days where the class of a select few just scream out at you in comparison to the group. Sure, Viney, Trac, Clarry, May etc they shone brightly but it’s with 5% here and 5% there as opposed to just out & out utter domination!

• Salem & Gus were silky smooth and the former’s hands were again sublime as always. Best marking mid in the game just about. Salem was reading the play well and breaking lines inc some forays through the middle. Just a class act that will benefit enormously from a full pre season.

• Thought that TMAC looked in absolute RIPPING nick, combo of 2018/2021 with 10% more upper bulk on shoulders and 10% more pep in his step in movement. Fluent both ways and lateral movement was there too. In air timing looked sharp sharp sharp 

• McVee is a player! just has real poise, smart by foot — doesn’t get lost and has real 360 footwork as well, which stood-out. Seems to be a player looking for smart bagged with little kicks to set up teammates, inc a nice weighted kick to Gus that helped setup a Grundy i50 mark

• May looked to be even more of a general than usual with Lever absent. Looks mega fit and will scare the he’ll outta most fwds this year. Never beaten and set up numerous forays and switches..

• Wingers delight!!! Hunter and Ed just looked to be two thoroughbreds out there tearing up Flemington straight… having double the wide run means we now genuinely have an offensive and defensive threat at all times and means we can switch to either side of the ground without hesitation which makes all the difference. Hunter sneaking behind the defenders was also encouraging but most of all seeing the joy he was clearly experiencing being out there was wholesome!

• The ball movement for both teams in the SIM was controlled but maniacal. First option handballs were taken and the ball barely ever hit the deck unless there was a spoil or strong aerial contest. The hands were clean and there was a number of side-back kicks to space to look for that overlap and turbo charged speed lane to open up. Given nature of ball returning to play before the kick has even passed the line, it was damn impressive to see the teams moving constantly to create space & not afraid 

Vines was everywhere, wearing White #24 and really does look poised for an AA year. Like Clarry? Looks stronger yet leaner, a real trend in our mids 

• Hibberd competes so dang hard he looked frighteningly strong and fast. His arms are such weapons and it is so great to see him set a std for all to follow. His competitive edge has already begun to help Riv, Bowser, Woe etc

• AMW has some real size about him, looking fwd to seeing his explosiveness once rehab completed. Spargo running laps was showcasing those new arms, holy heck they’re huge haha

• Fritta was himself, finishing well and moving with cleverness inside 50. Wil benefit a heap from having an attacking wing to help him get in behind the defenders as well as swifter movement honouring his early leads more often

• Almost ZERO deep corner locked entries 🙌 this was my absolute #1 TAKEOUT from todays session. The i50 licks were almost exclusively precise and <20m to a target in space and even the penetrating long balls were always to a target leading into open space ahead of the d50 opponents ie over the top and not just bagged in there with a set defence!!! Was evident this was being driven by the coaches and both Ooze, Choc and Staff all commented to players at points re how dangerous we look with this M/O.

• Kossie is not only gonna play mid in bursts but he is going to dominate while doing it! Just has soooo much time and space in close and even when clearly barely in 2nd gear, it was evident that he could toy with anyone at anytime. Footwork is sublime, explosiveness is off the charts bit he looks SUPER!

• ANB did some nice finishing things i50, Chandler looked competitive but still behind Spargo, Nib etc.. Burgoyne did couple nice things in the handball drills, def quick off mark first 3-8m especially but it’s his lateral movement that is his 1Wood.

• Both Turners looked a little lost at times and caught in-between the play when compared to Harry, May, Rivers, Pig..

• Banter and talk was consistent and the encouragement for younger lads was excellent! Gus was vocal, as was May & the usual suspects.

• Schache impressed me on several occasions. Running the ground well and seems to have a slightly steely-eyed focus & gave me the feeling he was really confident in his body and base fitness right now inc his frame which is strong, nimble and has a real pep In his step. Could be the real sleeper form this years recruits and with not much expected it could be the right time for Him to really come into his own 

Seston is a player. His old man said until now he’s always just been told ‘sit in the goal square and feast’ so he’s learning risky what it takes to be an elite footballer and is clearly getting a huge ROI in just what it takes. Powerfully built, he’s got a low centre of gravity and legs that offer him explosiveness that I’m not sure even he would be aware of just yet, but there’s some serious x-factor there and if he manages to get the Petracca-type fitness build he is potentially something scary. But he may not & could be gone in 24m, but the risk/reward ratio is abundantly clear and well worth taking. Has a bit of A Jakovich about him.

• Grundy looked fit and will be much better for the preseason as he needs some touch but that’s to be expected considering the amount of footy he’s missed. But showed his agility and ability to match it at ground level with the smalls as well as doing some nice things in the air as well. Look fwd to him getting some touch in early rounds and then lookout!!!

Overall, it was a sensational session and loads of takeouts. Forth and evenness the big thing in combination with the movement..


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