2021 Training Reports

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Tassie4ever

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Dec 7, 2007
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Re Birchall miraculously returning 4kg better than last season. I have another view. How was it that he was repeatedly selected last season when it was obvious that he was well overweight- far more than a piddling 4kg's on the evidence of anyone's eyes. How was it he was given a leave pass when there were kids waiting in the 2's. I know, I know- a long history of injury etc etc. That's crap. You play, you're A-1 fit.

On the other hand, if he was getting a regular gig was because he was a coach's favourite, which is my suspicion, not good enough.

When the going got tough against the Cats and the Tigers we were found well short of the mark. That's the truth of it. Too big, too tough, too hard, too nasty, too ruthless, too mature. We have the makings of it, but not by giving a selected few favoured treatment. Don't recall Birchall making a stand. Played OK, that's about it.

Many around here argue that Robinson is past it- IMHO, he gets a gig because he is our only hard man, post Pike and a precious few others. Who is going to take his place? Who is our hard man. Not Birchall, that's for sure.
 

Dlions

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Aug 12, 2016
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Re Birchall miraculously returning 4kg better than last season. I have another view. How was it that he was repeatedly selected last season when it was obvious that he was well overweight- far more than a piddling 4kg's on the evidence of anyone's eyes. How was it he was given a leave pass when there were kids waiting in the 2's. I know, I know- a long history of injury etc etc. That's crap. You play, you're A-1 fit.

On the other hand, if he was getting a regular gig was because he was a coach's favourite, which is my suspicion, not good enough.

When the going got tough against the Cats and the Tigers we were found well short of the mark. That's the truth of it. Too big, too tough, too hard, too nasty, too ruthless, too mature. We have the makings of it, but not by giving a selected few favoured treatment. Don't recall Birchall making a stand. Played OK, that's about it.

Many around here argue that Robinson is past it- IMHO, he gets a gig because he is our only hard man, post Pike and a precious few others. Who is going to take his place? Who is our hard man. Not Birchall, that's for sure.
Ok
 

jackess

Hall of Famer
Aug 10, 2005
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Re Birchall miraculously returning 4kg better than last season. I have another view. How was it that he was repeatedly selected last season when it was obvious that he was well overweight- far more than a piddling 4kg's on the evidence of anyone's eyes. How was it he was given a leave pass when there were kids waiting in the 2's. I know, I know- a long history of injury etc etc. That's crap. You play, you're A-1 fit.

On the other hand, if he was getting a regular gig was because he was a coach's favourite, which is my suspicion, not good enough.

When the going got tough against the Cats and the Tigers we were found well short of the mark. That's the truth of it. Too big, too tough, too hard, too nasty, too ruthless, too mature. We have the makings of it, but not by giving a selected few favoured treatment. Don't recall Birchall making a stand. Played OK, that's about it.

Many around here argue that Robinson is past it- IMHO, he gets a gig because he is our only hard man, post Pike and a precious few others. Who is going to take his place? Who is our hard man. Not Birchall, that's for sure.
I heard Birch mows Fagan's lawns. Polkinghorne 2.0
 

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Jason mp

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When the going got tough against the Cats and the Tigers we were found well short of the mark. That's the truth of it. Too big, too tough, too hard, too nasty, too ruthless, too mature. We have the makings of it, but not by giving a selected few favoured treatment. Don't recall Birchall making a stand. Played OK, that's about it.

Many around here argue that Robinson is past it- IMHO, he gets a gig because he is our only hard man, post Pike and a precious few others. Who is going to take his place? Who is our hard man. Not Birchall, that's for sure.
We did beat the Tigers in the Qualifying Final T4, the going does get pretty tough in QFs.
 

X AE A12

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2021 will be Archie's 8th year on our list for a grand total of 16 games and a pretty uninspiring footy resume, I hope I'm wrong about him but I wont be holding my breath expecting a breakout year.

Being competitive in an intra club and showing a few good glimpses over 16 games/7 years does not lead me to be bullish on his future prospects.
Me neither, wonder how he goes with being back to longer games, if he can bring the pressure
Re Birchall miraculously returning 4kg better than last season. I have another view. How was it that he was repeatedly selected last season when it was obvious that he was well overweight- far more than a piddling 4kg's on the evidence of anyone's eyes. How was it he was given a leave pass when there were kids waiting in the 2's. I know, I know- a long history of injury etc etc. That's crap. You play, you're A-1 fit.

On the other hand, if he was getting a regular gig was because he was a coach's favourite, which is my suspicion, not good enough.

When the going got tough against the Cats and the Tigers we were found well short of the mark. That's the truth of it. Too big, too tough, too hard, too nasty, too ruthless, too mature. We have the makings of it, but not by giving a selected few favoured treatment. Don't recall Birchall making a stand. Played OK, that's about it.

Many around here argue that Robinson is past it- IMHO, he gets a gig because he is our only hard man, post Pike and a precious few others. Who is going to take his place? Who is our hard man. Not Birchall, that's for sure.
I suspect it had a lot to do with the maturity to select the better option on the kickins
 

Quigley

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Sep 23, 2006
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Re Birchall miraculously returning 4kg better than last season. I have another view. How was it that he was repeatedly selected last season when it was obvious that he was well overweight- far more than a piddling 4kg's on the evidence of anyone's eyes. How was it he was given a leave pass when there were kids waiting in the 2's. I know, I know- a long history of injury etc etc. That's crap. You play, you're A-1 fit.

On the other hand, if he was getting a regular gig was because he was a coach's favourite, which is my suspicion, not good enough.

When the going got tough against the Cats and the Tigers we were found well short of the mark. That's the truth of it. Too big, too tough, too hard, too nasty, too ruthless, too mature. We have the makings of it, but not by giving a selected few favoured treatment. Don't recall Birchall making a stand. Played OK, that's about it.

Many around here argue that Robinson is past it- IMHO, he gets a gig because he is our only hard man, post Pike and a precious few others. Who is going to take his place? Who is our hard man. Not Birchall, that's for sure.
I do think that Fagan has historically marked the new acquisitions higher than necessarily warranted.

In my opinion it is likely that Birchall was given games early so he could work into fitness and form because he was seen as someone who could be a difference maker in the finals. Did that succeed? Not really. Defensively he was not a liability but generally others covered for him and he was not nearly as mobile as we needed him to be. With the ball in hand though he really straightened us out and we got a lot of good run through the middle of the ground coming from his kicks. He does not have the penetration that he did but his option taking was very good.

I would like to see him playing in the reserves this year and help the next generation develop but that is only if someone else deserves the spot.

As far as hardness goes Berry Jr showed that he was more than willing to step up in Mitch's role if we wanted to replace like for like. I also think Mitch's role last year was underestimated by most. His numbers fell away but he put a lot of pressure on the ball carriers and opponents thought twice when he was in the area. He went 100% at the ball and everyone knew it. The way he just throws the ball on the boot though hurt us at times. I am not turfing him out but I do not think his spot is guaranteed either especially if he is carrying an injury early.

As far as toughness though I think there is a fair bit available in the squad. I still remember Rayner ragdolling Cotchin last year and he is only going to get stronger. Both Berry boys are hard nuts and Sr is a very big midfielder. Starc is a big body who does not mind using it. Cockatoo is a physical player who tackles hard. Gardner and Payne are both guys who don't mind body on body work. The Coleman boys are both good at frontal pressure. So whilst there might not be crazy bull at a gate type waiting in the wings there are certainly enough guys who can stand up physically and dish it out.
 

davemc_lions

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Aug 21, 2013
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Still not sure why everyone out for Birchall thought he was solid.. Straightened us up a lot and those kicks cut open other teams. Rule change on people standing on the mark this year be scary for some sides when he has the ball.
I have him our best spot up kick followed closely by Rich and then Charlie.

Rich I say 3-4 years left as again the players who did not just rely on pace seem to play on longer around 33-35. Unless they start getting injuries.
Zorko not so sure how much he has left as his burst of pace was his weapon.. Struggled in games last year without it. You could see the frustration at times.
 

Ralphy2017

Team Captain
Jul 16, 2017
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I do think that Fagan has historically marked the new acquisitions higher than necessarily warranted.

In my opinion it is likely that Birchall was given games early so he could work into fitness and form because he was seen as someone who could be a difference maker in the finals. Did that succeed? Not really. Defensively he was not a liability but generally others covered for him and he was not nearly as mobile as we needed him to be. With the ball in hand though he really straightened us out and we got a lot of good run through the middle of the ground coming from his kicks. He does not have the penetration that he did but his option taking was very good.

I would like to see him playing in the reserves this year and help the next generation develop but that is only if someone else deserves the spot.

As far as hardness goes Berry Jr showed that he was more than willing to step up in Mitch's role if we wanted to replace like for like. I also think Mitch's role last year was underestimated by most. His numbers fell away but he put a lot of pressure on the ball carriers and opponents thought twice when he was in the area. He went 100% at the ball and everyone knew it. The way he just throws the ball on the boot though hurt us at times. I am not turfing him out but I do not think his spot is guaranteed either especially if he is carrying an injury early.

As far as toughness though I think there is a fair bit available in the squad. I still remember Rayner ragdolling Cotchin last year and he is only going to get stronger. Both Berry boys are hard nuts and Sr is a very big midfielder. Starc is a big body who does not mind using it. Cockatoo is a physical player who tackles hard. Gardner and Payne are both guys who don't mind body on body work. The Coleman boys are both good at frontal pressure. So whilst there might not be crazy bull at a gate type waiting in the wings there are certainly enough guys who can stand up physically and dish it out.
Some very valid points. Regarding Birchall, really hope we have a better option with the talent we have. I would hate to see a young guy miss out if there is a 50/50 selection call (pick for the future). I like Starc, and Rayner and the Berry boys for toughness and also Robbo (but think he will be overtaken at some point this year). Gardiner puts his body on the line and reckon Payne is pretty tough and once he gets some confidence in the AFL, I think his rather large shoulders are going to hurt a few people.
 

briztoon

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Re Birchall miraculously returning 4kg better than last season. I have another view. How was it that he was repeatedly selected last season when it was obvious that he was well overweight- far more than a piddling 4kg's on the evidence of anyone's eyes. How was it he was given a leave pass when there were kids waiting in the 2's. I know, I know- a long history of injury etc etc. That's crap. You play, you're A-1 fit.

On the other hand, if he was getting a regular gig was because he was a coach's favourite, which is my suspicion, not good enough.

When the going got tough against the Cats and the Tigers we were found well short of the mark. That's the truth of it. Too big, too tough, too hard, too nasty, too ruthless, too mature. We have the makings of it, but not by giving a selected few favoured treatment. Don't recall Birchall making a stand. Played OK, that's about it.

Many around here argue that Robinson is past it- IMHO, he gets a gig because he is our only hard man, post Pike and a precious few others. Who is going to take his place? Who is our hard man. Not Birchall, that's for sure.
We got beat up in the midfield and on our forward 50 by Geelong’s rebounding defenders.

Birchall was no more at fault than any of the other defenders.
 

davemc_lions

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Aug 21, 2013
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We got beat up in the midfield
We have been a few times by teams with bigger bodied star mids.
Been our major weekness over the last few years. If you loose it out of the centre bounce after bounce what are the defensive supposed to do.
6-6-6 works in the favour of teams who quick and clean out of the centre.
3rd qtr against the cats in the home and away a prime example
 

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briztoon

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Some very valid points. Regarding Birchall, really hope we have a better option with the talent we have. I would hate to see a young guy miss out if there is a 50/50 selection call (pick for the future). I like Starc, and Rayner and the Berry boys for toughness and also Robbo (but think he will be overtaken at some point this year). Gardiner puts his body on the line and reckon Payne is pretty tough and once he gets some confidence in the AFL, I think his rather large shoulders are going to hurt a few people.
Honestly we haven’t drafted a young player in recent years with either of Birchall’s or Rich’s kicking skills, vision and execution.

Prior might be that player, but right now Birchall is not keeping a younger player with similar skills out of the team.
 

martinson

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Apr 4, 2015
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Re Birchall miraculously returning 4kg better than last season. I have another view. How was it that he was repeatedly selected last season when it was obvious that he was well overweight- far more than a piddling 4kg's on the evidence of anyone's eyes. How was it he was given a leave pass when there were kids waiting in the 2's. I know, I know- a long history of injury etc etc. That's crap. You play, you're A-1 fit.

On the other hand, if he was getting a regular gig was because he was a coach's favourite, which is my suspicion, not good enough.

When the going got tough against the Cats and the Tigers we were found well short of the mark. That's the truth of it. Too big, too tough, too hard, too nasty, too ruthless, too mature. We have the makings of it, but not by giving a selected few favoured treatment. Don't recall Birchall making a stand. Played OK, that's about it.

Many around here argue that Robinson is past it- IMHO, he gets a gig because he is our only hard man, post Pike and a precious few others. Who is going to take his place? Who is our hard man. Not Birchall, that's for sure.
Birchall was awesome in the Richmond game imo particularly in the last half ,locking it down with his experience and finding a yard I didn't think he still had.

Don't see who we would've put in against Geelong instead of him that would've made any difference.

He'd near the end of course . There's more pressure on him this year . He'll have to step it up again with more options for us it seems.
 

jackess

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Honestly we haven’t drafted a young player in recent years with either of Birchall’s or Rich’s kicking skills, vision and execution.

Prior might be that player, but right now Birchall is not keeping a younger player with similar skills out of the team.
Ah Chee and Starcevich are both penetrating kicks.
 

martinson

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Ah Chee and Starcevich are both penetrating kicks.
I remember when Ah Chee was at the GC he could really launch them but with us he's always looking for the short option. Starcevich's kicking has really improved , well he improved dramatically all round.

People forget that Birchall and Rich are two of the best kicks out of defence in the game. They don't grow on trees. So replacing like for like isn't that easy.
 

Quigley

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Honestly we haven’t drafted a young player in recent years with either of Birchall’s or Rich’s kicking skills, vision and execution.

Prior might be that player, but right now Birchall is not keeping a younger player with similar skills out of the team.
Neither provide any run from the back which is arguably a weakness that we have had for a while. Having one elite kick and an elite runner would be a nice balance. Having a Rich and Hanley would be a very nice combination coming out of defence.

Ah Chee was brought in for run last year but he did not really give that. It seems to be something they have worked on in the offseason and see how that goes.
 

Ralphy2017

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Jul 16, 2017
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Honestly we haven’t drafted a young player in recent years with either of Birchall’s or Rich’s kicking skills, vision and execution.

Prior might be that player, but right now Birchall is not keeping a younger player with similar skills out of the team.
I think we currently have some options.
The point I am making is if Birchall is ahead of anyone else then he gets selected, and I have posted previously, I believe Birchall is an absolute for the first few rounds, BUT during the season if it gets to a 50/50 selection call then youth should win every single time.
 

chopperduck

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Youth shouldn't win by default, experience is it's own quality and if we are pushing for a flag, you need experience.

Birchall was fine last year without being outstanding. Dont think anyone was expecting him at top form though. He played similar to Ah Chee, like a player coming back from a long time off. Consistency in playing and training is very underrated. Would not be surprised at all, to see Ah Chee and Birchall find another gear this year.
 

BangyBangy

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Neither provide any run from the back which is arguably a weakness that we have had for a while. Having one elite kick and an elite runner would be a nice balance. Having a Rich and Hanley would be a very nice combination coming out of defence.

Ah Chee was brought in for run last year but he did not really give that. It seems to be something they have worked on in the offseason and see how that goes.
What's better than having one elite kick & one elite runner?

We brought in both Birchall & Ah Chee last year so maybe we wanted two elite kicks & Ah Chee for pace. Certainly ads more versatility. One primary distributor by foot leaves you pretty hamstrung tactically.

I recall watching games last year & seeing the ball in the hands of either Rich, Birchall or McCluggage from the backline & just knowing the next kick was going to hit a team mate.

Certainly makes us less predictable & more potent.
 

briztoon

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What's better than having one elite kick & one elite runner?

We brought in both Birchall & Ah Chee last year so maybe we wanted two elite kicks & Ah Chee for pace. Certainly ads more versatility. One primary distributor by foot leaves you pretty hamstrung tactically.

I recall watching games last year & seeing the ball in the hands of either Rich, Birchall or McCluggage from the backline & just knowing the next kick was going to hit a team mate.

Certainly makes us less predictable & more potent.
Yeah, that’s been my thinking, two elite kicks, and an elite runner, plus Starcevich. Then three tall defenders.

Another thing with Prior, he’s also fast. Good kick, runs fast.
 

Jason mp

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We need a more durable Josh Drummond type, when fit and firing he was an extraordinarily great kick of the footy, the best I've seen, they're as rare as hens teeth though.
 

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