- Sep 9, 2013
- AFL Club
Ok all you Sydneysiders, we need reports from training which starts Monday I believe.
Every single player on our list is first on the track, and last off itI'm hearing early reports that everyone is slated for more midfield time and houses are being trained down.
If only time trials actually made a difference to the player’s abilities.. we’d have had some champions over the last few years (Jordan Foote & Robbie Fox spring to mind.)Clarke was 2nd followed by Foot.
Apparently Knoll did really well too. Amartey not so well (last apparently).
Buddy didn’t do the time trial.
Well, the team was there training this morning. All the kids plus... Buddy!
There were a few non-listed players in the mix including Hebron, Bartholomaeus and Aidyn Johnson. I didn't see Taylor or Gray or Brand yet. I suppose they'll turn up in two weeks with the rest of the main group.
The players ran a 2km time trial. Buddy didn't participate. They set off in three groups staggered maybe 15 seconds apart. One of the best performers was Michael Knoll! He started in the last group, with some other tall types but he left his group behind and had pretty much caught up to the group ahead of him by the end. Conversely, Amartey was slow and came last by a long margin. Sadly I was distracted as they finished and didn't see the finish of the 2km. But I made inquiries and gleaned that Dawson came first! That guy is a star. I reckon he's going to have an even bigger year this year than last and really announce himself to the competition. There's nothing he can't do: super kick, great mark, good tank, big body, play back, play forward, play on ball. Apart from Dawson, Clarke ran second (no surprises there) and, impressively, Zac Foot came third.
Barry O'Connor was there. He was struggling a little to keep up in the time trial. His cheek was going very red - might be a bit of a genetic thing more than suggesting he's not as fit as the rest.
I didn't watch everyone, or really closely, but the snippets I saw of Blakey impressed me - he seemed really switched on. Stoddart looked like he has bulked up a smidge but probably is still building. Hayward and Florent both look a fair bit more solid now they are in their 4th year.
Otherwise, I had a fantastic chat with Tom Harley where he was really forthcoming (and this is how I came to be distracted for the end of the time trial). We covered a few things not all of which I will put here but a few salient points:
* Taylor is going to play a fair bit in the midfield
* Gray and Ronke may be competing for one spot forward.
* The club definitely sees a future for Ronke (and I have previously noticed Horse include Ronke when talking about our group of promising young players).
* Taylor and Gray were recruited not so much for their role as small forwards (Harley says people sometimes tend to put too much emphasis on a player's role) as because they are good players who are a bit more seasoned (both about 100 games)
* Gray's recruitment spelled the end for Menzel - Gray just had better exposed form over the past few years, he's only missed 4 or 5 games in the past few seasons
* They don't see Foot so much as a small forward (like Ronke, Gray, Wicks, Hayward) but more playing a role a bit higher up the ground.
* If Tom Green is still on the board at pick 5 at the draft, we will bid on him. We expect GWS to match.
* We reckon there is a substantial difference between pick 5 and pick 9 (despite reports that after the top 2 it evens out) and that is why we were unwilling to give up pick 5. We are excited about the player we are going to get.
* We don't necessarily expect to play finals this year
* A little differently to the past, we are building our list organically and from within and by player retention rather than through big name recruits. We are optimistic that the current group will continue to improve until hopefully we contend for a flag.
* The club places a huge emphasis on keeping the players happy which is both about salary and welfare. A big part of welfare is keeping close to the parents. Currently John Longmire and Dennis Carroll are spending a week travelling all around Australia to visit the players' parents. Right now they're in Adelaide. (Hello Mr & Mrs Hayward, Mr & Mrs Hewett, Dawson etc.)
* The club tends to avoid commenting too much in the media and recognise they haven't been that open about what they do and they are looking to tweak this approach. Harley said the club is content with the trade period but concedes they lost 'the PR battle'.
* Harley thinks the younger players are happy to be more open with the media and the club is willing to be a bit more daring in this space while still protecting the players. Harley says the main ways he tries to communicate with fans are via 3 letters to members per year and 3 webinars (one of which is coming up later this week).
* Trade period is overhyped. The clubs that tend to "win" are the clubs near the bottom who have cap space, whereas the more successful clubs don't do too much (Richmond, Collingwood, Geelong; although West Coast did well to trade in Kelly).
All in all, I'm so glad I stopped by to check out training today.
Yeah I think you can read more into those who bring up the rear than those who do well.Still helps. Coming last isn’t ideal!