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TRAINING: Friday 1st December 2023


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Demonland Trackwatchers WERRIDEE, HAWK THE DEMON, DEMON WHEELS, WALKING CIVIL WAR, SCOOP JUNIOR & KEV MARTIN ventured down to Gosch's Paddock to bring you their observations from Friday's Preseason Training Session which closes out the first week back on the track for the Demons.

WERRIDEE'S RUNNING COMMENTARY OF HIS OBSERVATIONS:

  • Farris-White and Sestan out there early kick to kick
  • Rivers and Bowey running laps
  • Roo and Laurie kick to kick
  • Billing’s in no33
  • McVee Howes and Turner kicking in a triangle the rest having shots on goal
  • Howes and Sestan practicing hip and shoulder techniques and tackling techniques
  • They seperate into 2 groups one doing resistance training the other doing jumps and stretches
  • They are all doing resistance training now
  • Now they are doing run throughs
  • Now they are dropping back then leading forward 
  • Melksham is training away from the rest as you’d expect 
  • Now they are stretching 
  • Now they separate into 6 groups as they pass the ball and also picking up the ball at their feet
  • Melksham skipping and jumping 
  • Now there doing passing exercises with B.Brown and Roo leading out
  • Petty is there but not doing anything
  • Re: Senior players in attendance: McDonald Gawn trac the rest are youngsters
  • Clarry on the sideline doing resistance training
  • Now they all over the ground passing exercises with Roo and McAdam leading out
  • Riv looks like he’s going to have a superb year
  • Lever is also there
  • Petty doing one on one marking with Melksham kicking it to him
  • The taller players are doing ruck drills while the mids are doing tackling drills 
  • They have now switched
  • Now they are doing match sim white and orange tops defending Norma tops attacking trac just done a beautiful pass to McAdam
  • Roo has just turned it over
  • Laurie gets his kick well spoiled by Lever
  • Hore in everything 
  • Petty is not in a moon boot and Fritta is not here
  • Clarry still training away from the group I think Petty and Melksham are done for the day 
  • Trac Riv and Hore dominating 
  • Windsor just got his ball smothered by Riv
  • Trac another brilliant pass to McAdam 
  • Bowey just put it down the throat of the opposition in Adams
  • Great smother by Billings
  • Gawn nice pass to Moniz-Wakefield
  • Clarry just told me he’s a month til full training 
  • Fullerton just beat McDonald one on one to applause
  • Jefferson just beat Turner one on one
  • Now the yellow vests b normal billing’s in a white vest just dropped a sitter
  • Sestan just kicked a dribbler 
  • McDonald on Roo Roo just took a good mark
  • Tholstrup KBrown Windsor and McAdam not participating 
  • Bowey is now in the white vest
  • Verrall good intercept 
  • Roo kicks a goal for the red team 
  • McVee just got stopped in his tracks by Riv
  • Good pass from Hore to Farris-White to Moniz-Wakefield for a goal McVee now in the white vest
  • When asked whether Tom McDonald is training forward or back - BACK
  • When asked whether Trent Rivers is training backs or mids - BACKS
  • Schache just kicked a goal
  • Now everybody’s favourite push ups
  • Just handball drills now 

HAWK THE DEMON'S OBSERVATIONS ON ATTENDENCE:

Petty not in a moonboot, but not training. New attendees today - Schache, B Brown and Melksham doing exercises with Jack McLean the physio. Apparently training will be at Gosch's on Monday before they head to Casey for the remainder of the year. Clayton doing his run throughs again - will probably re-join the main group before Christmas.

Non-attendees so far this week - Chandler, May, Viney, Brayshaw, Kosi, Langdon, Tomlinson and Smith.

Assume will all be there on Monday, other than Joel of course.

DEMON WHEELS' OBSERVATIONS FROM TRAINING:

Dropped in for a quick 30 minute visit while they happened to be doing match-sim for the bulk of that time.

General Observations:
– Quite open play with lots of kicking to targets both short and long
– Coaches pushing for the kicker to follow-up and connect / overlap which happened more frequently after a bit of fatigue had set in
– Good quality kicking and marking with the odd longer kick missing the target (bit blustery out there so forgivable) 

Player Observations:
– Impressed by almost all of our tall young players getting involved in the match sim at certain times
– Verrall and Adams did some good things and had some nice touches
– Farris-White is a beast and didn’t look out of place
– Jefferson did some good things and was quite amongst it to begin with, faded a bit towards the end. Did well in the earlier ‘marks-up’ one-on-one where he either beat or neutralised against JVR, Turner and one other tall (can’t recall who). He was quite agile in these marking attempts and got busy even if out of position to make a contest, he looks to be building to me  
– Fullarton looks a player as well
– McVee, Bowey, Woey, Laurie, Rivers all getting touches and trying to link up through the middle
– TMac playing as the last defender did an impressive job and his kicking was good too
– All the new draftees don’t look too light in terms of body shape at all
– Trac looks like a cat on a hot tin roof when he gets the footy, just electric feet
– JVR looks primed and just doesn’t give in. Took a few nice grabs and just competes non-stop
– Gawn looks fit, fresh and healthy. Took a few nice grabs as well and was actually jumping

 

And lastly Tim Lamb was walking around the boundary with a big tall kid – who else but Kalani White. Looks like he was there for a bit of a meet and greet / orientation of sorts as he was introduced to Andrew McQualter.

Go Dees.

WALKING CIVIL WAR'S TRAINING OBSERVATIONS

Bloody l-o-n-g session. Close to three hours. As usual Tracc stayed out there for about half an hour after the others had all left, having shots on goal. He does this after sessions, totally his choice. Tracc is dedication personified. Like, next level invested. LOL… I told him he needs to get to work on his muscles. He looked shocked and said, “Who, me???!” I said, “Relax, I’m kidding!” He said, “Phew, for a minute there…” 😁 Like he should pay any mind to what a slightly deranged fan says, amirite?!

I told Marty Hore welcome back and he said he’s so happy to be back because this is where he really wants to be, and that he feels like he never left. 💖

Clarrie started later than the others. We chatted a little before he started. Wednesday wasn’t a one-off. He’s definitely on the right track. Happy to chat, super positive, walks with a spring in his step and his head held high. Hashtag body language tells all.

Also had interesting chats with Chocco and Perty and Goody, all separately, but all instilled a strong sense of positivity and I’d even say excited anticipation. They’re clearly pumped for next season, as are the players. It really shows. The whole vibe this week has been amazing, which bodes well so early in the preseason.

Best thing about today? Two words… [censored] MELKSY! Was NOT expecting to see him moving so well! It was such a sight to behold. Last time I saw him he looked (and was) gutted. Totes different today, all smiles and really buoyed. Perty said his recovery won’t be like “your regular ACL recovery” I said, “he looks ahead of schedule already.” Perty said at this rate he’ll be right “middle of the season.” YAY 🥳

PS Adorable little George Gawn stole the show on the boundary. Heartwarming moment: Tracc walking towards him, George runs to greet him, arms outstretched wanting Tracc to pick him up, which Tracc did, making George so happy he buried his little head into Tracc’s shoulder. I know, right?! 🥹

SCOOP JUNIOR'S TRAINING OBSERVATIONS

I was able to get down to training this morning.

Those who I didn't see there - May, Salem, Viney, Spargo, Gus, Hunter, Langdon, Tomlinson, Smith, ANB, Fritsch, Sparrow, Kozzie, Chandler

Oliver was doing numerous run throughs on the boundary and then some ground ball work. Not running at full speed but was doing a decent chunk of slow running.

Melksham and Petty did some kicking and then went in early. No moon boot on Petty. Neither did any running.

I got there just before 10am and they were initially doing some transition work without tackling. Fairly easy ball movement stuff without any pressure / tackling.

They then split into groups - talls and smalls. The smalls did one-on-one ground balls, one player would win possession and the other would tackle. The talls did one-on-one marking. They then swapped so the talls did ground balls and the smalls did marking. No real surprises in the split up here, the only one of interest was that McAdam was with the talls.

After this, they then did a drill where the ball was kicked to about 40m out in the D50, a ground ball would ensue, and the defensive team would win the ground ball and then try transition the ball forward to an inside 50. This was under pressure as there was an opposition. The focus seemed to be on running hard off half back. Again no positional surprises, other than perhaps McAdam as a tall deep forward. It appears he may be earmarked to play a bit out of the goal square. I think of Kozzie in the Carlton final where he created problems with his speed as a deep forward. McAdam has speed but is better in the air.

They then repeated this drill but on the other half back flank / side of the ground.

The next drill was a kick out from the pocket in the attacking team's 50 and the attacking team would win the ground ball and then look for a re-entry inside 50m. Whereas the previous drill was a deep turnover (at half back), this was a high turnover (between half-forward and wing). They looked to switch it a fair bit so that the inside 50 entry was to the fat side where there were less numbers and less congestion. It was a bit messy but there did appear to be a focus to get it to the fat side rather than a down-the-line re-entry to congestion. This was also done under pressure with a defending team.

Finally there was some full ground ball movement drills. By this stage some of the new boys went and did running so it was probably something like 11 v 11. As a result there was a lot of space so it obviously didn't replicate the kind of pressure and lack of space you'd see in a game. TMac played key back for this. Maybe just to stand in for May, but who knows.

I left soon after this as they were doing some handballs in tight and shots for goal/snaps.

I find it hard to read too much into player performance at training so I've focused more on what they did as a group.

One thing I will mention is there is something about the Tholstrup boy. The big mop of curly hair that makes his head stand out in a crowd and what appears to be a level of confidence / self-belief. I didn't get the impression that he was a new guy there. He really pushed hard on the run throughs, leading the way when running with Windsor, Brown and McAdam. He then encouraged Windsor and McAdam to beat the required times when they were doing some extra running after he finished. He went and helped up the skipper off the ground after they did push ups. I don't know exactly what it is but there does look to be something a bit different and unique about him. If he can play, he seems the type of player who will be really fun to watch.

KEV MARTIN'S TRAINING OBSERVATIONS

Wandered down for a squizz at the bizz on Gosch's.

Melksham rehabbing, not doing a running program yet.

Oliver appears underdone. Working a running program, though not very advanced in exertion. Completely opposite to how he turned up last pre-season (fittest of the lot).

Petty was having just strolling around.

The field was dry and the ball handling for pre-season was good. Some stabb passes early in the session dropped in front of the leading players, at least they weren't bombing away. There was some emphasis on creating fwd 50 marks, plenty of short ball hit ups in the simulations. They started with runs and short kicks, then into station drills of low pick-ups, one on one positioning to high balls with push off, and side tackling after receiving high the ball.

The atmosphere was great. Get a sense they have a point to make. Everyone was supportive of each other, the noise level was high, and they were looking like a great young squad.

They took knees a few times, with group discussions and some frivolity.

Plenty of instructions and guidance from the coaches during the process.

Goal kicking practice was about snaps, based on the musical chairs game, but with the ball going around, with a couple of defenders and the manikins, making it tougher.

McQualter (Mini) gets right in there with the mids, emphasising the spacing.

Some drills were created to make the fwds hold position deep, and spread fast as a turnover happens when the opposition leaves our 50 area but loses the ball.

Loved our run, we look fast. Standouts include Bowey, McVee, Tholstrup, Laurie.

Laurie was baulking everyone, so much composure and looks to be a big improver.

Tholstrup is a born leader, supporting team-mates, working hard, one of the last on the field, Also appears to have the will to get to the contest and has that explosiveness after getting the ball. AFL speed won't worry him, a good size and solidness about him.

Bowey looking stronger and faster, impacts when he gets the ball.

McVee has that composure, runs to the right places and looks explosive. 

McAdam was definitely struggling with the running program, though out in the sims he gets involved and has nice skills.

Verral was getting plenty of 1%er's going, earning praise from the coaches. His is looking slim and moving well. Must have been working hard off season.

Howes is looking to be all muscle, barely any fat on him, looks ready for some hard at it footy.

Rivers was linking everything during sims.

Max and Lever cannot keep away from the play, plenty of involvement.

T'Mac was playing in the back line during sims, moving freely, though not winning the run throughs as he used to.

Billings adds another dimension to us. Finds space and has a good finish.

Kynan Brown has great vision, runs good angles, if he gets some consistency in skills, and a bit more bulk I believe he will make it.

Windsor was low-key, I didn't notice him too often.

I reckon JVR needs to have a full and hard working pre-season, looks a bit off, his usual aggression didn't seem there.

Jefferson was dancing around well and wants to goal when he gets it. Working up and down the field, a few fumbles, and in and out of the play during Sims.

Sestan has improved his fitness, no longer gasping after the exertion, and has plenty of composure.

Adams has bulked up and playing well by sitting behind the ball.

Turner was working up the field off the backline, providing carry of the ball.

Farris-White, looks like his skills have improved, has a bit more bulk about him.

AMW, seems more mature, getting to the right positions and kicking goals in the sims.

Taj is going about it very professionally, straightens the ball movement up and continues to bring intelligence to the game.

Hore has not missed a beat.

Schache is working hard, getting on the end of plenty.

BBB looking faster, and turning well. Still has his own running program. He and Tracc last on the paddock doing goal kicking practice.

The new young ones, did not compete in Sims.

There is going to be plenty of pressure for places. We will be batting deep.

Go Dees

EMDE's TRAINING OBSERVATIONS

I've been to Monday's and today's training. In no particular order..

The best 10-12 we know and will again be our core. Melsham was doing his drills just in from of me. There's minimal difference in his quads, he was jumping off either foot, doing side step jumps then short kicking with either leg. He must have done a power of rehab  to be this far advanced so soon after a knee recon.

BBB was moving really well, and moving quickly in his leads to the ball.

KFY and Verrall are both very mobile and would make other rucks look sluggish if they can maintain this in a game scenario.

Taj especially but Dan Turner, Jed Adams and Jefferson all looking very much stronger. Schache doing what he likes best and avoiding contact.

Of McAdam, Billings and Fullarton - they are going to have to bring serious game sense, skill and endeavour to be in the best 22. Which is what we really want. Laurie & Taj look like they really want a spot.  But the 2 stand outs for me were Marty Hore and Oli Sestan. Hore was in everything, knew where to position himself in the drills, clean, precise, moving really well. Sestan played one drill on the lead out of the goal square. Never fumbled, nialed them from everywhere. Another, he was link man- precise foot skills, clean hands, looking 1 or even 2 moves ahead of the rest. Hope his tank is larger this year - he looks fitter and dare I say a bit trimmed down below the waist. If JT was correct in his summation 12 months ago when questioned about this choice, he said that we couldn't afford to let Sestan slip another year and thought he might be worth a punt.

Lastly, Kynan Brown will never let anyone die wondering if he's put in enough effort to get to play AFL. He never stopped. Looks like he has massive tank. Needs 2 preseasons to get 10kg on his frame. FYI

FULL PRESEASON TRAINING FOR FRIDAY 1ST DECEMBER 2023 THREAD

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