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PRESEASON TRAINING: Wednesday 24th January 2024


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Seems like there were lots of Demonlanders there today! It was certainly a good crowd.

I was there as well for about 30 mins while the full ground drills were taking place and have to agree with most of what has been detailed already.

Probably the biggest take-out in terms of players was Billings. He was busy and was getting the ball to distribute into the forward 50 consistently, ensuring his kicks were to leading forwards and to their advantage - low and hard.

But for the most part I came away a bit disappointed with all other entries heading into F50 as most players in possession would virtually send a long kick into the forward line as soon as they passed the middle of the ground, giving defenders every chance to spoil and not really using the extra players around them to just get 20m or so closer and allow for a second lead (or even a proper extended lead) from the forwards. Still feel it was a bit ‘kick and hope’ in most scenarios and didn’t feel there was a discernible strategy going in BUT keen to hear from others who were there if they saw the same?

I understand it was not a full match sim so maybe it wasn’t a focus but surely we should be taking every opportunity available to improve that aspect of our game.

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13 minutes ago, Demonland said:

i'll add that KFW has built up considerably in his upper body from when he was added to the Rookie List. He is listed as 206cm and Max is listed as 208cm but I think he is now taller than Max.

His build is great, he looks fit and athletic, and he found the ball a couple of times in match sim, but he’s coming from a mile back that’s all. I hope he’s improved enough to get some touches at VFL level or they can find him a lower level 

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Great reports from all thanks fellas.

BBB is surely not going to make it for the start of the season?

Are we able to move him to the long term injury list and place someone else into the mix?  Does that seem more likely than not?

The elephant in the room would appear to be obvious and surely that leaves us somewhat vunerable here in terms of depth and roations?

Aside from Kozzy playing some substantial mid minutes and Sparrow taking his game to another level.  Possibly Rivers getting some more mid time.

Who else do we have up our sleeve here or will Kozzy, Sparrow &/or Riv be enough?

Is the Kolt or even Seston an option to get some minor minutes?  Billings?

Sparrow seems to be getting some match sim time in there but personally i'd much rather see Howes / Turner covering the back half and push Bowey up higher to utilise his speed, intercepting and elite passing closer to goal in order to up that last entry inside 50 and commection with forwards (McAdam/Fritsch/JVR/Petty & Melk when / if he returns in time to have an impact).  He is also a reasonably good shot at goal it seems, even from a fair way out.

That last kick inside & connection was an obvious issue for us in 2022 & 23 and needed to be resolved.

While it's often hard to guage from training i'd be interested to hear from the track watchers as to whether they feel we are addressing these mid/forward shortfalls or not in terms of filling the gaps and/or obvious changes of positional roles of certain players from their prior modus.

Edited by Demon Dynasty
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1 hour ago, Neil Crompton said:

Dee, with Tomlinson, TMac and Turner all competing for the role of 3rd tall, I wouldn't have considered Hore as a 3rd tall option at all. He's a flanker IMV and is the same height (191cm) and weight (approx, within 4-5kg) as Howes. So i considered both would be competing for the same role - hence the question. Personally, I would prefer Hore, but wouldn't mind seeing Howes take on a wing role.

They might go taller with Hore as a 4th taller option, depending on match ups and with McVee adding more run and rebound to his game, but I generally expect Hore to compete with the talls. He’s always played above his height.

My answer on who’s ahead hasn’t change tho. Marty doesn’t look like he’s missed a beat. Howes is still developing and unless it comes quickly (which it might) his lack of contested game would drive Steve May mad.

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13 minutes ago, DeeSpencer said:

His build is great, he looks fit and athletic, and he found the ball a couple of times in match sim, but he’s coming from a mile back that’s all. I hope he’s improved enough to get some touches at VFL level or they can find him a lower level 

KFW will make it, bookmark it English mrk2

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47 minutes ago, Demon Dynasty said:

While it's often hard to guage from training i'd be interested to hear from the track watchers as to whether they feel we are addressing these mid/forward shortfalls or not in terms of filling the gaps and/or obvious changes of positional roles of certain players from their prior modus.

The mids/on-ballers were very interesting today. 

They restarted the sims about 5 or 6 times, each time having a different and surprising addition or two. Langdon had a go (ran the legs off Tracc), also Laurie, Spargo, Gus, Hunter, ANB, Billings, Bowey, and of course, Tracc and Vines. Another poster said Kozzy and Rivers also played through the centre. Sparrow didn't play in the sims.

They really are trying to find the best and variable fit.

The kicking drills used today emphasised the ball being kicked in front of the leading player. Some still missed this simple instruction. I think it is not so much of not having a forward strategy, but more of, some not being able to execute the right action. They continue to learn.

Edited by kev martin
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I’m excited about Billings. Gun junior who struggled in the poor environment of the Saints. I reckon he might prosper with no expectation and with our superior program. 

No doubt his skills are excellent. just needs the right environment 

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2 hours ago, DeeSpencer said:

They might go taller with Hore as a 4th taller option, depending on match ups and with McVee adding more run and rebound to his game, but I generally expect Hore to compete with the talls. He’s always played above his height.

My answer on who’s ahead hasn’t change tho. Marty doesn’t look like he’s missed a beat. Howes is still developing and unless it comes quickly (which it might) his lack of contested game would drive Steve May mad.

Marty & Turner competing for the 4th tall posi as coverage for Tomo/Lever in case either gets injured or ends up coming off the boil.  Or need to be managed in season.

Or alternatively one of them (Most likely Marty at 190cm vs Disco 195cm) comes in for tomo vs a relatively shorter oppo forward line up if needed?

Howes played his early days at Casey off a wing before eventually being pushed to HB and seems more suited to playing wing.

We may see him here at some point before the year's out and eventually he is a good chance of pushing Hunter off that wing and making it his own, subject to taking the next step this season.

His two way running and skills by foot will be a very handy addition coming inside 50.  That's what will set him apart if he gets his chance, assuming he's built the tank this pre-season.

Will def be an interesting watch for mine and i hope this is where the coach/FD see him playing in future, and they give him a fair crack at it when the time arises.

Windsor is probably at least a year away from threatening that on the other (Lingers) wing but you mever know.  He might get his chance earlier depending on how he goes at Casey and how Lingers is fairing with his fitness / form during the season.

Edited by Demon Dynasty
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10 hours ago, Slartibartfast said:

I'm just back from training and it's really interesting reading others views of today as they differ from mine a bit.

JvR said in a recent interview that today is ball movement day and Friday's are match practice so take that into account when you hear about players scoring goals.  It's non stop movement and there is plenty of space and lots of room in the forward line and there are goals scored all the time.  It's not "match practice" and the tackling is done with care.  For me it's more like intensive circle work but maybe I'm wrong.

Perspective at training is always interesting.  Bowser has been mentioned a lot particularly for his disposal but I thought he was a bit off today missing some kicks he would usually hit, but he was very involved and very focused.  He's agile and tough.  Yze was very involved and looks a good prospect.  Got lots of the ball and didn't look out of place out there.  But my standout for the day was Jack Billings.  He's a Moneyball pick and he'll be a beauty.  His kicking today was better than anyone out there as he hit up hard targets all day.  He's clearly fit and covering the ground well and will be regular best 22 from round 1.

JvR is looking very imposing taking contested marks and finding space well.  He's put on some bulk but it hasn't impacted his speed or spring and he is still super aggressive at the ball.  His kicking is also very reliable.

Windsor was more involved today than I've noticed on other days and certainly has a turn of pace although on one occasion when he was out by himself and running down the wing McAdam nearly caught him.  Unlike others I don't see him as a round 1 candidate but who knows.

All the older players were involved in ways you'd expect and I endorse the comments made about Viney and Trac.

I saw Petty in the match sims early but he either didn't get much of it or didn't do much of it because I didn't see him involved much.  I hope others can clarify his day.

It was a tough day today, hot, humid and they ran for a full two and a half hours.  There was also a good crowd, amazing what happens when you advertise training and give people a bit of notice.

J Billings = Moneyball 101

Will be a great bit of business by the 🧠 trust at the MFC.

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13 hours ago, DeeSpencer said:

Verrall does a few promising things, a tackle, a mark, a ground ball get, KFW is still a mile off. 

I concur.

Both have bulked up considerably - particularly KFW.

I think it's harder to assess young rucks in training situations, particularly on a day when there weren't any ruck drills. 

But Verell certainly looked the more natural footballer, which of course is not surprising given their backgrounds.

But KFW had one big advantage over Verell - he is taller.

And he will get bigger still too. Verell will too of course but nowhere as big (ie in terms of height and muscle) as KFW who will be a monster if he stays in the AFL system.

A year at Casey will give us a clear idea if KFW will make it I think.

On a semi related note, Schache was standing only 25 metres away from me at one point. He was next to Max and there wasn't much between them height or size wise.

It made me wonder why they haven't tried him as a second ruck option - perhaps they have and it wasn't his go?

Edited by binman
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12 minutes ago, binman said:

I concur.

Both have bulked up considerably - particularly KFW.

I think it's harder to assess young rucks in training situations, particularly on a day when there weren't any ruck drills. 

But Verell certainly looked the more natural footballer, which of course is not surprising given their backgrounds.

But KFW had one big advantage over Verell - he is taller.

And he will get bigger still too. Verell will too of course but nowhere as big (ie in terms of height and muscle) as KFW who will be a monster if he stays in the AFL system.

A year at Casey will give us a clear idea if KFW will make it I think.

On a semi related note, Schache was standing only 25 metres away from at one. He was next to Max and there wasn't much between them height or size wise.

It made me wonder why they haven't tried him as a second ruck option - perhaps they have and it wasn't his go?

I’m not sure the crash and bash is Schache’s strength. I’m no way am I saying he’s soft but rucking is a brutal game. 

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11 minutes ago, Roost it far said:

I’m not sure the crash and bash is Schache’s strength. I’m no way am I saying he’s soft but rucking is a brutal game. 

Yep, that's my sense too.

And i also wonder if Schcahe is one of those athletes that finds hard to put muscle on as even with nearly 10 years in the AFL system his arms are still a bit noodly. 

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34 minutes ago, binman said:

I concur.

Both have bulked up considerably - particularly KFW.

I think it's harder to assess young rucks in training situations, particularly on a day when there weren't any ruck drills. 

But Verell certainly looked the more natural footballer, which of course is not surprising given their backgrounds.

But KFW had one big advantage over Verell - he is taller.

And he will get bigger still too. Verell will too of course but nowhere as big (ie in terms of height and muscle) as KFW who will be a monster if he stays in the AFL system.

A year at Casey will give us a clear idea if KFW will make it I think.

On a semi related note, Schache was standing only 25 metres away from me at one point. He was next to Max and there wasn't much between them height or size wise.

It made me wonder why they haven't tried him as a second ruck option - perhaps they have and it wasn't his go?

Interesting comments on KFW. He’s a young kid who hasn’t played much footy and it shows. But I’ve been told by people who know him just how dedicated he is to achieving an AFL career. His body is bigger than last year, he’s taken serious time off his 2km time and he’s much more involved at training. 
The club will have to assess whether he has the skills to make it but if they think he has he could be a very good long term prospect. It may take him another 3 or 4 years to get there but he’s a big boy who shows good agility and would be a cheap long term investment as a category B rookie.

One thing for sure, he won’t die wondering if he could have made it.  

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Has there ever been a ruckman that has been better than just ok while still growing? 

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11 minutes ago, Slartibartfast said:

Interesting comments on KFW. He’s a young kid who hasn’t played much footy and it shows. But I’ve been told by people who know him just how dedicated he is to achieving an AFL career. His body is bigger than last year, he’s taken serious time off his 2km time and he’s much more involved at training. 
The club will have to assess whether he has the skills to make it but if they think he has he could be a very good long term prospect. It may take him another 3 or 4 years to get there but he’s a big boy who shows good agility and would be a cheap long term investment as a category B rookie.

One thing for sure, he won’t die wondering if he could have made it.  

I watched him closely on Monday, he will make it IMV😁

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12 hours ago, kev martin said:

The mids/on-ballers were very interesting today. 

They restarted the sims about 5 or 6 times, each time having a different and surprising addition or two. Langdon had a go (ran the legs off Tracc), also Laurie, Spargo, Gus, Hunter, ANB, Billings, Bowey, and of course, Tracc and Vines. Another poster said Kozzy and Rivers also played through the centre. Sparrow didn't play in the sims.

They really are trying to find the best and variable fit.

The kicking drills used today emphasised the ball being kicked in front of the leading player. Some still missed this simple instruction. I think it is not so much of not having a forward strategy, but more of, some not being able to execute the right action. They continue to learn.

Thanks for this. The highlight for me was the last sentence. I'm sure I'm not alone in enjoying the simplicity of the verb "to learn" rather than the use of the tortured expression "They continued with their learnings". (I almost feel sick writing that.)

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1 hour ago, La Dee-vina Comedia said:

Thanks for this. The highlight for me was the last sentence. I'm sure I'm not alone in enjoying the simplicity of the verb "to learn" rather than the use of the tortured expression "They continued with their learnings". (I almost feel sick writing that.)

Here endeth the lesson.

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19 hours ago, tiers said:

Just thinking. 

May, Lever, Tomlinson, TMac, Turner for talls down back.

Salem, Bowey, McVee, Brayshaw, Hore, Howes, for mids and smalls down back.

Which other team would not be envious of our list and choices.

Good sign for 2024.

GO DEES.

What about Adams for talls?

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