Training report, 5 December 2008

Ford Fairlane

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Caught a fair chunk of training this morning. In general, they are looking fit, and should be as training looked demanding. There’s been a lot of talk about the weights program, but you could see how hard their running is being worked in this session. Not endless laps (well for a couple ;)) but good high intensity match type work. There were a couple of end to end match drills and in between some hard running, 20m type repeat sprints overseen by Falloon who pushed them (“You’re f***ing joking, run through the finish line!). He really makes himself heard out there, which Comerford wasn’t so good at from what I saw (heard). And if not that, there were groups of players doing repeat 60-70m running drills along the boundary. Not sprints, but a decent pace. Pretty much perpetual motion, not much huddling around to talk over drills. After the 20m sprints, players had to jog back to the start and hit hard into bumping bags held by the assistant coaches.

Some players are looking noticeably bigger, others not so, but there’s some real definition across the back and shoulders (lats, traps and delts for the technically minded) of most players. Those are the hard to hit areas, so there’s some real work going on there. Even Kane has biceps now. It’s probably more noticeable on the senior players with more mature bodies.

Salter and Trengove ran laps and then shorter interval runs while I was there. For a guy with a supposedly bad leg, Trengove’s a running machine. He just kept running and running and looked very fit. Salter looks in great shape. Trimmed down around the torso, and obvious muscle definition through the arms and shoulders. Sal was running too, as was Pete Burgoyne - he looked solid, especially in the thighs and upper body. Seems to have acquired some new ink over the break too.

The match drills were interesting, a lot of focus on pressuring the ball carrier through the play zones with the coaches exhorting players to push up. And there was an emphasis on either a switch for quick release and then push forward, or finding a target upfield to release the play. But it had to be done quickly otherwise players were shut down by the zoning opponents (people will be pleased to note that the zoning meant the ball carriers had support too, and these players were shepherding, not running off for a soft sideways receive). The emphasis seemed to be on getting the ball going quickly forward with minimal possession. At one stage Choco spat it at the execution and sent the whole squad on a lap of the oval, then back into the drill.

There was also an emphasis on tall targets inside the F50. The mids would take the ball outside 50 and then hit one on one targets inside the F50. M Westhoff, Redden, Lobbe, Giles were used a fair bit. Just a quick comment on Redden (I will get back to him) – my thought was, “Can’t run, but sh*t can he mark”. He looks like he has very sticky fingers. Dawson had a run up there too as a support small marking forward and took a nice grab on the lead.

Individually, tried to get a good look at the young guys. Overall, as it looked from draft stats, they are a physically impressive crew – should fit in well and develop quickly. I was surprised at Broadbent, he already looks like a senior SANFL sized player – he has that Cochrane-type build (but Broady’s skills are way better ;)). Didn’t see much of Hartlett, but he was out in the middle of the match drills working away. He has a very impressive raking kick on him. Trengove, as mentioned, ran and ran, good smooth mover, and when he gets into the weights will fill out nicely. Broadbent does look a solid blue collar defender who rebounds well off half back. Banner, he’s short and solid, and works hard. Buzzed around the midfield, his kicking was better than some have suggested, but he jagged a calf during the session and went off. Redden took a couple of monster grabs one on one with Broadbent. Made front position, stuck the butt out, arms out in front of the eyes and one grab. Thanks for coming. But fitness wise, Giles would be pleased he’s there, because Gilesy now has someone to beat in running. Poor Redden, was doing the repeat runs on the boundary and after about 5 of them I was sure he was going to throw up – he was doubled over sucking in the big ones. He hung on but when he walked back to the match drill it was on rubber legs. But then he took some big grabs, so he recovered quickly. The fitness will come. Dawson, saw a little bit of him, pale and wiry, but looks like he will muscle up well. Has nice clean hands and moves well. Davenport is a strong body with good burst speed and seemed to be launching off between wing/half back, carry the ball and drop it long into the danger zone. He seemed to kick a couple of up and unders, but they were to Redden who just swallowed them and either made them look good or they were meant for him like that.

The spirit/camaraderie of the session was good. The senior players were really supporting the newbies, and the sophomores were using their voices. Grew and Broges were sympathetic to Redden’s distress in the repeat runs, and kept encouraging him.

Just a few brief observations of some players

Tredrea looks in great shape, the monolith is a big man. He did some forward line work with Ebert. Ebo did about half the session, then did the repeat boundary runs with Senior Burgs. Ebo’s looking a ball of muscle.

Brogan is another huge guy. And good voice, encouraging the young players (especially Redden).

Giles is a big unit now, and Lobbe is not far behind. I can believe Lobbe is over the 90kg mark now. His movement was good and was sound overhead as a marking forward target in a couple of drills.

Krakouer you wouldn’t recognise if you hadn’t seen him since he first arrived at 66kg. Some real muscle gain across the chest and shoulders, but maybe not the hardest runner on the track. ;)

Matty Thomas ran well, good run across the midfield and disposal looked sharp.

Marlon Motlop looks AFL fit now, lean and strong. Gave Kingers a sneaky bump in the training drill. I don’t think Kingers thought it was as funny as Marlon did.

Shaun did the whole session, looks to be having a good pre-season.

Saw Josh Carr briefly (they often worked in two groups at either end of the ground, and he was in the group further away from me) - still has such clean hands at ground level.

Matty Westhoff (and this is dangerous territory) looked to be getting some shape to his body. Probably won’t look much bigger than last year unless you compare pics, but I thought he had gained a bit. Justin is different – his body shape doesn’t seem to change. There’s definitely some muscle definition there and he may well be heavier, but his basic shape doesn’t change, so it’s hard to tell with him. But he moves well, very sharp.

All in all, I found it an interesting session. Seemed to be different to last season, focusing on a different on-field style, and very intense physically, with all the running filling spaces between game drills.

Happy to field questions.
 

Jumbo

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Fantastic report thanks Ford:thumbsu:
I reckon Giles will get a few games this year, did he look ready for it though?
 

Relativity

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Matty Westhoff (and this is dangerous territory) looked to be getting some shape to his body. Probably won’t look much bigger than last year unless you compare pics, but I thought he had gained a bit. Justin is different – his body shape doesn’t seem to change. There’s definitely some muscle definition there and he may well be heavier, but his basic shape doesn’t change, so it’s hard to tell with him. But he moves well, very sharp.
KPP type shape?;)
 

SYDpower

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Thanks Ford. I am hoping to get out there soon to watch also although not sure where you can find out when and where they are training (Just ring the club or is it on the web site?)

How did Chaplain look?
 

Toots Hibbert

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Great report as usual Fordy. :thumbsu:

Did you get the feeling Lobbe was being groomed as a forward or just that he was needed there for the drills?

I'm looking forward to getting out to training with my camera as I usually do in January, plus the family day at Alberton. Your description of the game style only makes me keener.
 

Ford Fairlane

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ok, questions.

Giles - is big enough, tall enough and appears to attack his marks confidently enough to be worth a shot. He'll never feature in a press release on 3km running times, but he is a decent size. The ruck contests at these training drills were nominal. They probably had more competitive individual ruck work after the game drills.

The Westhoffs - for me the Westhoffs look like they will fit neatly between two parallel lines. In Justin's case, it's a matter of how far apart we can get the lines. Matty - and remember this is a tentative observation - looked like he had a bit happening around the neck and shoulders and could actually taper. He's still tall and lean, so he's not turning into a KPP of any great ape variety at the moment. Re Justin, strength-wise it's hard to tell, I only really noticed him taking the ball up around midfield and feeding to runners going by (I'm sorry, there was not gentle way to break that piece of information). He may have been closer to goals at some stages, but he would've been at the far end from me where the more senior players were working.

Chad - didn't see him. He may have been there, but I can't remember spotting him. Farmer popped up out of the rooms just before I left. He's put on a few kilos too.

Chaplin - again up the far end, didn't see him in action. But he was out there.

Lobbe pretty much worked in the forward zone as a tall target with the other young talls. I think he scored Lower for competition and despite nick's typically close attention, did take a contested mark (remembering that at best players had about 3 chances to do that).

Tredders looked to be working more around a traditional CHF area.
 

RussellEbertHandball

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Top report as usual Ford. :thumbsu:

I have a question on this part of your report.

But it had to be done quickly otherwise players were shut down by the zoning opponents (people will be pleased to note that the zoning meant the ball carriers had support too, and these players were shepherding, not running off for a soft sideways receive). The emphasis seemed to be on getting the ball going quickly forward with minimal possession.
Was that significantly different to what you saw in the 2007/08 preseason? Did this result in different movement to the forwards as it sounds like we used different forward targets in this drill compared to last year.
 

Ford Fairlane

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Last year, I always thought we looked quite direct in pre-season training drills. I think the difference I noticed this time was the pressure put on the ball carrier - the numbers competing were much more even. Last year, the attacking team always had a numerical advantage that encouraged handballing around until the defenders were all caught out of position - or a couple of half-arsed shepherds would do the trick.

This time it was different, you had to get it away or get caught. I think it was Rodan or Pearce was caught out at one stage, took the ball, tried to dodge one of the opponents and about three fell on him and the ball was turned over. The give had to be quick, instinctive and upfield. And the focus was on getting into the corridor. They still weren't afraid to take it out wide through the midfield, but the long kick was into the hot spot out front of goals.

Last year there was still too much attacking the pockets. Today, at the end closest to me it just didn't happen (again remembering it was all the young talls). Almost every final kick into the forward line was taken from 60-70m out and aimed at a big marking target, and he didn't have to be leading. Once Dawson slipped away to mark on a lead and that was more to flank. The other end had Motlop, Tredrea, J Westhoff, maybe a resting ruck (Ebert was doing boundary runs by then).
 

RussellEbertHandball

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This time it was different, you had to get it away or get caught. I think it was Rodan or Pearce was caught out at one stage, took the ball, tried to dodge one of the opponents and about three fell on him and the ball was turned over. The give had to be quick, instinctive and upfield. And the focus was on getting into the corridor. They still weren't afraid to take it out wide through the midfield, but the long kick was into the hot spot out front of goals.
Ah maybe that's why last year we tried for that 6th or 7th or 8th or 9th consecutive handball running out of defence. Sounds like they would have practiced that with little pressure last year. Good to see some realistic game simulation practice happening.

Last year there was still too much attacking the pockets. Today, at the end closest to me it just didn't happen (again remembering it was all the young talls). Almost every final kick into the forward line was taken from 60-70m out and aimed at a big marking target, and he didn't have to be leading. Once Dawson slipped away to mark on a lead and that was more to flank. The other end had Motlop, Tredrea, J Westhoff, maybe a resting ruck (Ebert was doing boundary runs by then).
Lets hope its a sign of how we will play in 2009.
 

Toots Hibbert

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Don't know about Matt but I reckon Justin is similar to Thurstans who didn't fill out to a mature weight until he was past 25. I reckon the Hoff might be able to get to the mid 90 kgs by then which would make him a bit harder to shift.
 

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Great report FF. I know it's early and I don't want to jinx things, but I just have the feeling we're in for a great year.

Did anyone see Choco surfing last night on the news last night? The fat man was better than any of the players - Motlop calling Shaun Agro was also quite amusing.
 

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Tredrea looks in great shape, the monolith is a big man.

Happy to field questions.
Ford... FORD!

DT, The Strathalbyn Standard. Two questions.

1. Did he look like Captain Elastoplast with the shoulder and how was he with raising his arms above his head?

2. If there was a chance to see it on show, how was his once-famed agility, burst speed and leap? Bearing in mind he's almost 30, is the knee now as close to 100% as possible?

DT is going to fap.
EFA.
 

Ford Fairlane

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Re the Warrenator

1. IIRC the shoulder was strapped but that just seems standard now, didn't notice any restriction.

2. Unfortunately he was in the forward group working away from where I was, but I did notice he was back patrolling his old CHF area, probably staying more within range of goals than pushing beyond that space. That suggests to me that all of the movement physical attributes are in good order. He also worked in a one on one forward tandem with Brett for a spell. That was a little unusual in that it was just the two of them running forward patterns without competition and seemed to be more about the mids learning where to go to for both of them (and for them to keep out of each other's way). Didn't really push hard there in burst speed, but there was some good sharp movement and direction changes. And he did all the training, running etc.
 

RangaInTeal

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i get the feeling with Tredrea, he may have one last Rocky Balboa like season let in him, if 2009 we can get 15 good games out of him out of the 25 we will play we will play in a nother Grandfinal!
 

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Ford... FORD!

DT, The Strathalbyn Standard. Two questions.

1. Did he look like Captain Elastoplast with the shoulder and how was he with raising his arms above his head?

2. If there was a chance to see it on show, how was his once-famed agility, burst speed and leap? Bearing in mind he's almost 30, is the knee now as close to 100% as possible?
You left out the biggy DT. How is his hair replacement therapy going?
 

Eddie Woloschek

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FF: Disambiguation required.

Sal was running too, as was Pete Burgoyne - he looked solid, especially in the thighs and upper body. Seems to have acquired some new ink over the break too.

Which of Sal and PB has the thighs, the upper body and the cartoon?
 

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