Category - 2013 – Pre-Season Weekly Wrap
Toby runs through the training reports of teams Port to West Coast. Whos killing it on the track?
There’s not been too much news coming from the Power this past week – or many clubs in fact – as they ready for their NAB Cup campaign. They did have their intra-club though, which I covered in my previous article.
Port did however finalise their leadership group this week, adding in Robbie Gray, despite coming into the season on the back of a knee reconstruction. Hinkley has said though that Gray won’t partake in any NAB Cup games, despite having returned to full training this past week. It’s also unlikely we will see him in round one, with no return date currently set for the forward.
Assistant Coach Alan Richardson has singled out Jarrad Redden as a likely breakout contender in 2013, likening him to cross-town rival Sam Jacobs. His pre-season has been largely incident free and at 200cm and 100kg, looks set for a lot more games this year. He also singled out Jasper Pittard and Andrew Moore as players he expected to see a lot more from in 2013.
The Tigers had their intra-club yesterday in a game of possibles vs probables. By all reports, Cotchin was the best on ground, although who wouldn’t have expected that? Ivan Maric and Brett Deledio were two of the other highlights from the senior group.
Ricky Petterd played well in the ‘probables’ group, being utilised as a running half-back. He played very well and used the ball well – this was actually his position as a junior, so he does know how to play it. He’s priced very cheap in both DT and SC, so could be a tempting option, depending on how he plays in the NAB Cup.
In another positional change, Chris Newman mainly played across half-forward and was impressive. Although, he was quoted earlier in the week suggesting he would be a permanent midfielder this year. Either way, this new role could see an increase in DT scoring from Newman.
In other news Nathan Foley is still recovering from his Achilles injury and is likely to miss at least the first couple of rounds of the season. Jake King and Dylan Grimes are also under clouds for round one.
Hardly any news from the Saints this week after their intra-club game last weekend. There have been no open training sessions since. They play their first NAB Cup game this Sunday against the Crows and Port with a largely inexperienced lineup heading across to Adelaide. Seb Ross missed last week’s hitout with the flu, but he will be playing on Sunday and will be one to watch. Arryn Siposs, Jack Newnes, Cam Shenton, Brodie Murdoch and Josh Saunders will be the main kids to keep an eye on.
The Swans were another club to have their intra-club on Friday, with the coach singling out Tippett, Jetta and Everitt as the standouts. Tippett managed to boot three goals whilst being stood by a combination of Richards and Grundy, which is no easy feat.
Jetta continued where he left off last year, winning his ball on the wing and streaking across the ground at high speed. Everitt was playing half-forward, being manned by first-year player Dean Towers. He took some good marks and delivered the ball well inside the 50, although I’d not even bother considering him in DT or SC considering his history of letting everyone down over the past few years.
O’Keefe also played well through the midfield, going head to head with Luke Parker – O’Keefe managed to take the honours, despite Parker’s tackling pressure every time Keefer went near the ball.
The Doggies were one of the teams to get a run in the NAB Cup last night. Whilst this game will be properly covered in our NAB Cup wrap on Monday, some of the fantasy standouts were Nick Lower, Matthew Boyd, Brett Goodes and Clay Smith.
West Coast Eagles
West Coast play their first NAB Cup game today, with a relatively experienced lineup taking to the field, including returning player Mark Lecras. It will be great to see where the Frenchman lines up in 2013 – if he can play a high half-forward role I think he would be worth considering in DT & SC, but if we see him playing a lot closer to goal, then I think he may prove to be a bit too expensive. Josh Kennedy and Andrew Embley are two other mid-priced options to keep an eye on.
Other than that, not a heap of other info to come from the club this past week
Week commencing 11/02/13:
Jimmy Bartel – has eased into his pre season after a sluggish start and all things going well will play in the second round of the NAB Cup.
James Kelly – is also on the comeback trail from post season surgery. Should play in NAB round 2.
Jed Bews – will be sidelined for 10 weeks due to a foot injury. The young Cat is showing early signs of a stress fracture and will be wrapped in cotton wool for the short to medium term.
George Burbury – is sidelined for the next 6 weeks with a stress fracture in his foot. Disappointing news for a young Cat that would’ve been hoping to cut his teeth in the NAB Cup.
Dawson Simpson – the big ruckman has undergone back surgery and will be sidelined for up to 12 weeks. The move to recruit Hamish McIntosh is looking shrewder by the day!
Hamish McIntosh – Except said shrewd move to recruit McIntosh comes with its own downside. He underwent arthroscopic surgery to drain fluid from his troublesome knee. He’ll be out of action for the next three weeks, so it puts his preparation for Round 1 in some jeopardy.
GOLD COAST SUNS
Harley Bennell – was a dominant force during the All Stars – Tigers clash. He just oozes class and will be a key part of the Gold Coast’s effort to rise up the ladder.
Alex Sexton – is on the comeback trail from hip surgery, has been training well and is firmly in the mix for a round 1 AFL season berth.
Nathan Bock – one of the leagues worst kept secrets (relax, Bomber fans!) was revealed this week when the Suns confirmed that he wouldn’t be playing round 1 of the season proper.
GREATER WESTERN SYDNEY GIANTS
Will Hoskin-Elliott, Jonathon Patton & Dom Tyson – are all looking good as longer term Giants players with players & club reportedly agreeing to new contract during the week with details to be finalised in the coming weeks. Tyson in particular is a boom signing for the Giants given the way the tom-toms (not Scully) were beating about his possible departure towards the end of season 2012.
Jonathon O’Rourke, Lachlan Plowman & Lachie Whitfield – the club confirmed that its 3 prized picks will all get a run during the NAB Cup much to the delight of AFL Dreamteam, SuperCoach & Ultimate Footy coaches during the week.
Setanta O’hAilpin – doesn’t look likely to get a gig during the NAB Cup at this stage as he recovers from his 2012 ACL tear. Is still a chance for an early return during the season proper.
Joseph Redfern – the rookie with the very apt name will miss the NAB Cup due to severe bone bruising.
The Hawks were on their community camp down in Tassie during the week. Winged captain Luke Hodge led a group of players in helping with the bushfire recovery effort, whilst another group of players played king of kids running junior clinics at local primary schools.
Youngsters Jed Anderson & Amos Frank also showed some class during the All Stars – Richmond game.
Aaron Davey – was one of the Indigenous All Stars’ best on Friday night. The Flash followed it up with a good session at Gosch’s Paddock on Monday and his spirits has obviously been buoyed by his effort on Friday night.
Shannon Byrnes & Chris Dawes – the premiership forward duo combined well during match simulation drills during the week. Their forward pressure and skill level shone out.
Jeremy Howe – rolled an ankle after attempting a screamer during training on Monday. Hopefully it is only a minor setback as the Dees can ill afford to lose a player of his quality through pre season tomfoolery!
Tom Gillies & Dan Nicholson – both try their guts out but sadly put in a stinker during training on Monday. Their poor kicking skills are a real threat to the longevity of their AFL careers.
NORTH MELBOURNE KANGAROOS
The Roos are on their community camp in Ballarat this week. Ben Cunnington has been the stand out at training and vice captain Jack Ziebell is expecting 2013 to be a break out season for the solidly built youngster. In other news Majak Daw looks set to be trialled as a key forward during the NAB Cup & Suns’ recruit Taylor Hine remains in the rehab group.
Week commencing 11/02/13:
Saturday, September 15, 2001.
You know how some days just stick in your memory? For me, this was one.
The world had just been rocked by the most visible of terrorist attacks the previous Tuesday, and the world’s media continued said rocking by indulging in wall-to-wall media coverage of the tragedy.
I woke up the following Saturday morning, and my alarm clock radio was blaring out the dulcet tones of Rove McManus’ 9:00AM morning show. I’m not usually a Rove fan, but what he said stuck in my head. It was along the lines that, ‘rather than dwelling on the horror that has taken place this week, I feel like the best way I can honour those who are hurting is to continue doing what I do.’
Not that I would ever attempt to compare the loss of life suffered in that event to the events of the previous week, but I feel like the best way I can help is to keep what I usually do. Not to pretend that the issues don’t exist, but rather to feel like we can start to move through.
Wow. That was verbose – my bad.
Here’s what’s happening in your club that begins with A-F:
Adelaide, along with a number of other clubs, held their intra-club trial match last Friday. The Crows chose to close off their trial to the public, with Coach Brenton Sanderson stating, ‘If closing a session such as today gives us a competitive edge over an opponent in the regular season, I think our members and supporters would understand why we do it.’ Whilst there were no injuries out of the trial, I note that Bernie Vince, Richard Tambling and Sam Shaw were all held out with varying degrees of soreness. They should all be OK for Round 1. With such a fit list, Adelaide staff have indicated that they will try to give “almost every player” on the list playing time.
The story is (as always) Brad Crouch. The young wunderkind rotated through the midfield whilst alternating from half-forward, and you would imagine that his reported maturity will help him adjust to wherever the match day committee want to put him.
Also of note was ex-Sydney player Lewis Johnston, who kicked 3 goals in the side that got thumped – it has been suggested that this could be his chance to seize the spot left vacant by Kurt Tippett
Not a heck of a lot of news out of the Lions’ Den this week, as most press questions centred around some dark, Dank, smelly business. However, the resounding theme out of the Lions’ preseason has been how impressive the rookies have been, and how hard they are willing to work. A couple of players to watch for the future (and/or if the unthinkable happens and Jono Brown strikes some injury problems) are Marco Paparone and Michael Close, who are a couple of tall forwards who have serious engines. The warning, as always, is that big boys take time, but certainly a couple of lads to keep your eye on.
If you’ve been following these recaps for a while now, you’ll know that Carlton are in a very strong position from an injury perspective. Only Chris Judd, Jarrad Waite, Troy Menzel and Andrew McInnes were forced to sit out the intra-club trial due to injury with all but McInnes expected to see some NAB game time. Also sitting out were 6 other senior players, as the Blues took the smart, cautious approach to list management.
The report on the Blues’ website lists Matthew Watson, Pat McCarthy and Kane Lucas amongst the youngsters to impress (although, I believe KP has a different view on the performance of Kane Lucas?). Also, I feel it my duty to point out that we have mentioned both Watson and McCarthy on this site already, which underlines the need to keep up with the awesome pre-season content on Footy Tragic.
Lastly, it is nice to see that Sam Rowe had a forward/ruck role after the rough trot he’s had health-wise. I’d imagine he will find it difficult to break into the Carlton ruck rotation, but he may be able to play a role if he can break into that stacked forward line.
I wonder if all AFL coaches receive the same talking points after their club has an intra-club match? “There are things we need to work on yada yada…as good as we can hope for yada yada…”
Although Collingwood’s injury list is not long, there are still a number of players being eased back into full training. No new injuries were sustained out of the trial, and pleasingly, Clinton Young made a surprise return after his post-season foot injury..
The forward line looks to have added some obvious potency with the addition of the list of Quentin Lynch with Andrew Krakouer and Jamie Elliott all looking good. Young Irishman Caolan Mooney also impressed at times with his footspeed and athleticism, and might be a chance to see some good NAB cup time. Port Melbourne mature-age recruit Sam Dwyer also showed a bit of dash and decision making, and is the sort of quality player that is indicative of Collingwood’s current depth.
In what I’m sure was a quiet week out at Melbourne Airport, the best piece of news came in the form that Nathan Lovett-Murray had been named as the Indigenous AllStars captain. Beyond that, it was doom and gloom, with bonafide stars Jobe Watson and David Zaharakis missing out on the club’s intra-club match, and Jake Melksham landing on his hand, breaking it and requiring surgery. The Bombers expect Melksham to start training again on Monday and a return for Round 2 of the NAB Cup.
I don’t know what the buzz is like about Freo over in Perth, but the more I think about it, the more I like their chances. They’re making all the right noises, keeping injury free and seem to be slowly ramping up to their trial game versus the Crows next weekend. Injury-wise it’s worth noting that Stephen Hill has resumed full training and will be available for selection after recovering from his shoulder surgery. It has also emerged that Lachie Neale has missed training intermittently after suffering heat stroke early in the pre-season.
As expected, their intra-club hit-out was willing, with spots up for grab in the side for any young blokes willing to take-a-chance-take-a-chance- take-a-chance-take-a-chance…(a bad ABBA reference thrown in for good measure.)
Young midfielder Cam Sutcliffe showed tremendous poise and footspeed, as he had a crack on both teams in the match. He’s the sort of hard-running player that can often get a gig mid-year or when the team is short staffed.
A friendly reminder if you haven’t checked out some of the awesome pre-season stuff on Footy Tragic, do yourself a favour and have a look here.
Week commencing 04/02/13:
Tom Hawkins – Tomahawk looked in ripping nick during the Cats’ joint training session with North Melbourne. The extra kgs worth of muscle he has put on during the pre season certainly aren’t affecting his mobility.
Steve Johnson – is a gun. Pure and simple. Stevie J had a dominant week on the track. His skill level was impeccable as ever during training sessions and the North Melbourne involved drills.
Daniel Menzel – it was revealed during the week that the young Cat had LARS surgery making it 3 knee recos in less than 18 months! The talented youngster is restricted to very light drills, training away from the main group.
GOLD COAST SUNS
Jack Martin – dominated during the intra-club match yesterday. With Ablett, O’Meara & Swallow, the Suns are building a midfield that could be the envy of the competition sooner rather than later.
Steve May – is an exciting forward prospect for the Suns. There’s a bit of Stewart Crameri about him. All signs this pre season point to a big year for young May.
Nathan Bock – is carrying an obvious limp, stemming from his horrific leg injury last year. Don’t expect him to be back in top form for the start of season 2013.
GREATER WESTERN SYDNEY GIANTS
Will Hoskin-Elliott – the hyphen is back into full training after being laid low through most of the pre season with a hip complaint.
Chad Cornes – had a cyst removed from his knee during the week and faces a 10 week stint on the sidelines.
Lance Franklin – is the sum of the news out of the Hawks this week. Buddy has pulled out of the Indigenous All Stars game with a calf injury which is disappointing for AFL fans. The AFL media were delighted earlier in the week when he delayed contract talks until the end of the season.
Neville Jetta – had a good week on the track & will be looking to cement his place as a half back. His kicking is still iffy but Jetta is having his best pre season yet.
Max Gawn – has been placed on the long term injury list due to a hamstring injury. Not good news for the big man who has suffered a poor run with knee injuries.
Dean Terlich – suffered a minor setback during the week after a nasty collision at training. It shouldn’t hurt his medium to long term prospects.
NORTH MELBOURNE KANGAROOS
The young Roos blitzed the Cats during the week for pace during their joint training session. Ben Jacobs & Jordan Gysberts also impressed on the track during the week.
Week commencing 04/02/13:
Whilst I know this site has broadened its focus this season to address a plethora of non-fantasy football related issues, “I’ve got another confession to make – I’m your fool.” In other words, it’s kind of nice that AFL Fantasy is back.
What’s happening at your club? I’m glad you asked (As long the first letter of your club starts between A and F)
My current (don’t tell my wife) man-crush, Brenton Sanderson has put it best in the past week, when he said “There are always positive themes coming out of Clubs at this time of year, but our boys really are looking good.” The Crows’ player management continues to be first class in the lead up to their February 23 pre-NAB Cup clash against Fremantle. There are no major injury concerns, with Jared Petrenko (shoulder), Bernie Vince (shoulder), Sam Shaw (knee) and Nick Joyce (groin) scheduled to sit out the first round of the NAB Cup.
In case you’ve had your head buried, you will have heard of 19 year old Brad Crouch, who is into his second pre-season and is not only a terrific young player but also has the eye of the coach, having been the first recruit that Sanderson brought to the club at the end of 2011. Injury permitting, he should definitely see game time this year.
Have you tried quality Analysis? Why not try Scotty’s look at Adelaide here? As an aside, this also contains an introductory spiel about Scotty that is quite illuminating.
Despite Queensland’s awful weather, the Brisbane Lions still managed to knock out some impressive training sessions, shifting from Coorparoo to the Colmslie Hockey Centre. Michael Voss pleasingly highlighted the same issue I did from last week (are you reading this Mr Voss?), saying “we build up round 1 so much and you have to remember that round 2 carries just as many premiership points,” pointing out that whilst Simon Black is on track for Round 1, they won’t be taking any risks with him.
A lot of pre-season hype has gone into Sam Docherty, another second-year player looking to make an impact. He has now put on some significant weight, and all reports point to him being in tremendous physical condition.
The other guy I’m keen to see in the NAB cup is Brent Staker, who has so far completed a full pre-season. He knows what is required at this level, and I would not be surprised to see him making significant (if not consistent) contributions to the forward line.
Another excellent list analysis article here from Kristian which will get you ready in time for Round 1.
With the stunning revelation that Mick Malthouse wanted to actually coach his team during the NAB Cup (you know, the job he’s paid to do), Carlton entered their week full of verve and good intention. Andrew McInnes continues to be the only player definitely ruled out of round 1, with Lachie Henderson (hip/groin) and Jarryd Cachia being eased back into full training. However, all reports from Carlton make it sound like that Mick will be spoiled for choice.
The make-up of the Carlton forward line looks interesting, with Jarrod Waite, Sam Rowe and Luke Mitchell all pushing for spots in the tall forward spots – a far cry from the trio of Gartlett, Yarran and Betts. However, the guy I’m backing to make an impact up front is Levi Casboult, whose speed is tremendous and sure hands in a pack situation could be exactly what’s needed.
Because my creativity for these shameless plugs is waning, here’s a rehash – Scotty has a look at the challenges the Blues face in his list analysis, personally endorsed by the Carlton diehard who sits next to me at work. You can endorse it here.
Surely Port Adelaide Chairman David Kock (did I spell that right?) would have been quietly fuming this week as the Magpies announced their new sponsorship deal with Holden (Holden having traditional links to the Power demographic – perhaps they can pick up Lexus?). Kochie’s wrath is the last thing they have to fear, however, as the Magpies again had a large number of players in their rehab group last week, including Nathan Brown, Alex Fasolo, Dayne Beams, Lachlan Keefe and Harry O’Brien. The biggest concern by far is Nathan Buckley’s ‘admission’ that Dale Thomas (ankle) could “still be a couple of months away,” from returning.
There was a bit of buzz around young midfielder Josh Thomas, who is one of those silky-skilled midfielders we love to watch. If D. Thomas is out and Luke Ball takes longer than expected to come up to speed, Josh Thomas will be one to watch, as he is pacy and reads the play well. Also, Collingwood are traditionally not afraid of blooding their young early.
The only time I don’t despise Collingwood is when they’re giving Port Adelaide the irits. You can find out about who else they will give the irits to in KP’s list analysis here.
Whilst trawling through endless club information, I came across the fact that at their Fed Square fan day, their fans “flash mobbed” them. After I got over thinking, “Flashmobbing? Is that still a thing?” this piece of footage made me a) glad that I live in Adelaide and b) amused by the looks on the players’ faces.
The biggest injury scare of the week went to David Zaharakis, who sent shudders through the mostly healthy squad when he limped off during training with a minor quad strain. It soon came to light, however, that it was not the same injury that caused him to miss a tonne of time last year. He is back running again, and whilst he may miss a couple of NAB Cup games, he should be alright for Round 1.
This week’s Bombers hype has centred around comments Hird made on SEN about Joe Daniher, who he considers a young key position player who has the potential to eventually be their Ruck/Forward. The Coach is suitably impressed with the young man’s attitude, but when quizzed about how much game time he’d see, he responded that it’s “hard with a guy that age,” but he “can’t see why he won’t play a lot of football.”
Scotty ‘rips apart,’ the Bombers list here, complete with tables, pretty pictures and promises of wealth, nice looking ladies and a marching band.
Last week saw Fremantle have its first pre-season training session at the ground where they will play during the year – a logistical reality, no doubt, but surely that’s not ideal? That being said, whilst the rest of the country is freezing and flooding, Freo trained in scorching heat, with their rehab group shrinking to “a couple of players.” Their big scare was key midfielder David Mundy, who rolled his right ankle but has since been cleared of any damage.
Defender Garrick Ibbotson has nominated Nick Suban as the best on-track in the pre-season thus far. This is a nice sign for the youngster, who will look to continue strengthening his place in the line-up after he ran a PB in the 3km time trial.
Was anyone else amused by the news that Buddy Franklin is not negotiating his contract until the end of the year? Shall we start calling KP a prophet? Find out here.
Week commencing 28/01/13:
Tom Hawkins – The big Cat has bulked up over the pre-season and now tips the scales at 105kgs. The KPF behemoth will be looking to give as many key defenders nightmares in 2013 as he does photographers during pre season, who have to shoot annual photos of him in his manbra.
Jordan Schroeder – the young Cat is looking leaner and meaner this pre season & will be looking to add to his senior games tally. Some in the Cat’s camp believe he is the heir (not hair) apparent to Paul Chapman.
Josh Hunt – has been struck down with glandular fever. The bad news is he will most likely miss a significant chunk of the season thus risking his ongoing spot in the side with youngsters like Thurlow surely to be blooded. The upshot is that while he is laid low with this illness it is slightly less possible that the people from Gunns timber will try and pulp him given the strong resemblance his legs hold to tree trunks.
GOLD COAST SUNS
Harley Bennell – dominated Suns’ training & match simulation during the week like it was New Year’s Eve in Scarborough – except this time, no one could catch him. With a set of wheels every bit as quick as the bike he was named in honour of, Bennell looks set to consolidate his 2012 break out year in 2013.
Josh Hall – jumping Josh narrowly missed out on Australia’s Olympic team for London 2012, which just about makes him the AOC 3rd most decorated athletics team member behind Sally Pearson & Steve Hooker. Hall was spotted ripping up the track during the Suns’ match simulation during the week and looked very lively in front of goals.
Jacob Gillbee – blew 0.137 at a random breath test during the week. Mysteriously, the old “I’m Jacob Gillbee of the Gold Coast Suns, I’m kind of a big deal, so there’s no need for a breath test – you have my word” defence didn’t work! Given most of his team mates don’t know what he looks like, its going to be awkward to try and set up a car pool to training.
Tom Lynch – the young key forward is on the comeback trail from foot surgery & will be looking to increase his training loads in the coming weeks.
Liam Patrick – suffered a nasty hamstring injury during the week at training and needed to be carried from the ground. This puts the mercurial forward’s NAB Cup and potentially early season in doubt.
Tim Sumner – the young draftee is on the comeback trail after a knee injury.
GREATER WESTERN SYDNEY GIANTS
Tom Scully – has had a good week in which he was named the world’s richest vice captain by the Giants. He was also in outstanding touch during the club’s match simulation drills during the week and looks to be thriving on the added responsibility of leadership already.
Dylan Shiel – also stood out during the club’s scratch match with his polished foot skills. Not bad for a bloke who has missed large chunks of the pre season because of a foot injury.
Adam Treloar – looks to be a touch quicker this pre season and was another stand out at Giants’ training during the week.
Josh Growden – is still about a month away from full training as he recovers from a hip complaint. This is worrying as the Giants clearly lack talented young players to cover.
James Stewart – is also in recovery mode after suffering a stress fracture.
Jon Ceglar – the former Collingwood big man consolidated a good pre season to date with another good week on the track. While primarily a ruck, Ceglar has also looked to try and boost his versatility by training in key forward & key defender positions.
Luke Hodge – it has been confirmed that his PCL injury/recovery will see the skipper miss the start of the season again. The days of AFL Dreamteam & SuperCoach stud-dom appear to be over.
Matt Jones – the former Box Hill midfielder trained well during the week & looks a definite upgrade on fellow VFL drafted Dees’ James Magner & Tom Couch. Jones is tall, quick, evasive & has good foot skills. At 25, he is ready to go and could be a good fantasy cash cow option this year.
Rory Taggert – after missing most of last season with bad back injuries, Taggert has had a good pre season. Like Matt Jones he is a big bodied midfielder with a good hoof on him who trained well during the week.
Mitch Clark, James Frawley & Jack Trengove – all missed a main session of training during the week. If this continues it will probably dent the Dees premiership chances in 2013, not to mention start another tanking investigation.
NORTH MELBOURNE KANGAROOS
Drew Petrie – has been training the house down over the past week at training and over the summer at large. Petrie’s mobility has been a stand out during the joint training sessions with Geelong. This bodes well for North as they rarely lose when big Drew is on song.
Lindsay Thomas – like fellow key forward (not) Drew Petrie, LT has trained well during the week. His pace has been a highlight at North training.
Leigh Adams & Daniel Wells – will miss pretty much all of the Nab Cup as a result of pre existing injuries in an effort to get them right for round 1. This could mean a sluggish start to the season proper for these two key midfielders.
Jack Ziebell – will miss the start of the Nab Cup after undergoing minor knee surgery earlier this month.
Week commencing 28/01/13:
It seems that every time I come to write this report, I’m in a semi-depressive state. It makes me broody and irritable – tonight it’s because I’ve just watched the men’s tennis, and I’m not particularly happy with the result. Nevertheless, the thought of sitting in the driving rain at AAMI stadium seems like just the thing to cheer me up.
Here’s what’s happening at your club…
I received my Adelaide Crows membership pass in the mail, and I couldn’t be more excited for the year to start as Adelaide Head Coach Brenton Sanderson returned to the track (and media duties) last week, returning from his European honeymoon – and he liked what he saw. Last Monday’s session saw 45 out of possible 47 players train, with 40 players due to train today (a public holiday). The bottom line is the Crows are mostly all fit.
I (through the magic of talkback radio – yes, I’m a ranty old man) had the chance to ask the Coach, “who is most impressive name we haven’t yet heard of?” Whilst he didn’t provide a name we hadn’t heard of, he did very cautiously nominate Richard Tambling as having a ripper pre-season, saying that he’s “a forgotten name that’s going to have a really good season this year,” indicating that he will play through the half back line and/or on the wing.
For those of you betting on Angus Graham as a nice little smoky option, Sanderson was pretty clear that Graham had a lot of work to do to get into the rotation, mentioning 4 or 5 other guys that could play his role, and stating that “we have a lot of depth now in our ruck stocks.”
Is your iPod stuck on replay? No? Well why don’t you check out Scotty’s list analysis of the Adelaide Crows here?
Despite the weather cooling off up north, the noise out of the Lions is saying that the heat is on…it’s on the street. (No, I don’t really know what that means either.) Key Brisbane big man Matthew Leuenberger is feeling no pain in his leg after his 2012 Achilles injury, but is easing his way back into full training. He has indicated that he is aiming to play the last two games of the pre-season.
Lions’ Vice-Captain, Daniel Merrett, last week said in his press conference that training had been getting, ‘a little narky,’ (testing every journos’ ability to spell the word ‘narky) particularly between the forwards and backs. Merrett himself will play preferred full back this year (effectively ruining any fantasy value he may have had) with recruit Jordan Lisle in the prime position to take his vacant spot up forward. Merrett said that Lisle has matured, was talking a lot more and had improved his fitness – one to watch out for perhaps.
He also indicated that, ‘whilst anything can happen,’ Mitch Golby and Sam Docherty will most likely get some significant time in defense, as they look to lock down their back six (which he lovingly refers to as, “the Men’s Department.”)
Another excellent list analysis article here from Kristian which was, unfortunately, was written before Daniel Merrett started referring to the Backline as ‘the Men’s Department.
The same old theme continues at Carlton in regard to their training methodology, dedicating their time to short, sharp and varied training sessions in order to improve recovery, build their stamina and improve their mobility. Blues defender Jeremy Laidler was on press conference duty last week, and indicated that “most of the boys will be fully available and fit through the NAB cup,” with the exception of Andrew McInnes (knee). (This may imply that Marc Murphy is fit enough to take part in a full training load.)
Interestingly, superboot Matthew Watson has “put on a bit of size,” which can’t hurt his chances of making an impact in 2013. Also, I noted that Jarrod Waite has indicated that he is taking part in his ‘first full pre-season for a long time.’ Obviously that finger injury can’t have been too bad!
Scotty has a look at the challenges Mick (Malthouse, not Gatto) really faces in his Carlton list analysis, personally endorsed by the Carlton diehard who sits next to me at work. You can endorse it here.
‘Glove gate,’ as nobody is calling it, will surely be sending shudders through the Magpies key forward ranks, as they can no longer rely on extra grip their now-banned gloves afforded them. This will be a real disappointment to Magpies’ fans, as I’m sure they were really looking forward to cheering as Quentin Lynch nonchalantly threw his glove off, and will now have to fund other uses for gloves that grip. Last week saw a large number of players (at least 12) in the Magpies’ rehab group, although some of those players are being eased back into full load. Cloke, Thomas and Alex Fasolo were among those who skipped the skills work last Monday.
I was interested in reports that young defender Paul Seedsman has improved the length of his kicking and also his running. It has been rumoured that he may cycle through that elite midfield this season, but even if he doesn’t, he might be one to watch, as he provides another quality rebounding option from defence to compliment the likes of Heath Shaw and Harry O’Brien.
Here’s a question, what can Collingwood fans expect in 2013, apart from approximately a bajillion unnecessary meddlesome remarks from their president? Find out from KP here.
As Steve Alessio joins the number of Essendon alum to return to the back office, head coach James Hird is continuing to make waves of his own, highlighting to the football world that the soft tissue injuries of last season were part of the long term plan (OK, he didn’t *exactly* say that, but he did say that last year’s bulking up, and this year’s subsequent focus on endurance were part of the long-term plan) Whilst the improved training surface at Essendon’s new facility will likely reduce the number of impact-related injuries sustained at training, it’s unlikely to help their ‘two-face’ issue much.
James Hird also indicated that 23 year old Tom Bellchambers would be used as the Bombers’ primary ruckman, with Essendon using veteran David Hille and Patrick Ryder as backups. As Footy Tragic contributor Juzz would know, a ruck strategy led by Tom Bellchambers can be a dangerous proposition (mostly for your own side), and is one to watch as the season unfolds.
Scotty ‘rips apart,’ the Bombers list here, complete with tables, pretty pictures and promises of wealth and nice looking ladies. OK, perhaps I made up the last bit, because it’s late…
I would love to write one of these reports without referencing Ross Lyon and his meticulous preparation methods, but he really does have the Dockers on a tight schedule as he looks to ramp up preparation heading into the NAB Cup. Perth’s notorious hot, dry weather makes for truly testing training terrain (and by “terrain,” I mean, “conditions.” – I was going for the alliteration) and this makes the management of training loads even more critical. I can only assume this is why Lachie Neale, Matt De Boer and Kepler Bradley did not train, whilst a number of players also had a light day (including Zac Dawson and Luke McPharlin). Also, Aaron Sandilands had a ‘minor procedure,’ (undisclosed) but will resume with the main group today.
Jack Hannath, the 201 cm number 8 pick in the 2012 pre-season draft was said to be competing exceptionally well against Jon Griffin, but may struggle to break into Freo’s already stacked ruck division. Still, perhaps he is one to put in the ‘future’ tab in your spreadsheets (Yes, I know you keep a spreadsheet – probably more than one, right?)
Did you hear which key forward is coming to Fremantle next year when he becomes a free agent, according to KP? No? Find out here.
As an aside, I feel like I should mention that AFL Fantasy is open for business this Friday – how are your teams coming along?
Week commencing 21/01/13:
Paul Chapman – the human meataxe continues to impress on the track, clocking his personal best time in the Cats’ 2km time trial last Thursday.
Jordan Murdoch – has bulked up considerably over pre season and was a star on the track during the week. He will be looking to maintain the rage during the Cats’ NAB Cup campaign.
Jackson Thurlow – is quite literally a pre season bolter! A quick, powerful & skilful half back who has had an outstanding pre season 2013 considering he is coming back from a nasty thumb injury sustained last year. The Cats will be hoping he is Boris II.
Daniel Menzel – dicky knee. Nuff said. However the upside is that apart from this talented youngster, the Cats will be looking at a close to full strength squad to pick from for the NAB Cup at this rate with messrs Kelly, Bartel & co joining in training with the main group’s training last week.
GOLD COAST SUNS
Greg Broughton – has had a solid pre season to date, training with the defensive group. With Tom Murphy and Matthew Warnock set to take the main shutdown roles in defence, here’s hoping Broughton can get back to his rebounding best in 2013.
Jaeger O’Meara – was spotted strutting up & down the beach like a young Hasselhoff during the clubs’ open sessions last week. There will be plenty of AFL Dreamteam & SuperCoach love for this kid in 2013
David Swallow– has been training solidly. His class as a junior and form during this pre season are pointing to a break out year.
Brandon Matera – was spotted in a moonboot during the week. Apparently it is a precautionary measure as he was showing signs of a stress fracture hotspot. It is disappointing that this talented youngster can’t seem to get an injury free pre season.
Seb Tape – the young key defender is on the long road back from his ACL injury last year and faces an uphill battle to get back into a team chocked up with KPD talent.
GREATER WESTERN SYDNEY GIANTS
Shaun Edwards– has been given a massive wrap by the club’s high performance manager John Quinn. Edwards could be a fantasy smoky in 2013, he is currently testing in the Giants top 3 or 4 players.
Toby Greene – continues to train like a madman & has actually been told to hold back his intensity. John Quinn rates him as the hardest trainer he has seen since a young James Hird.
Adam Tomlinson – the young KPP was very impressive in winning the Giants 3km time trial during the week, backing up a strong run before Christmas. He will be looking to add to his games tally in 2013.
Jonathon O’Rourke – hasn’t had any setbacks with regard to injury but word out of the Giants during the week is that they will be focusing on long term development with O’Rourke. This could make O’Rourke a risky fantasy selection in 2013.
Sam Mitchell – the Hawks’ talisman had a cracking week on the track and looks to be the strongest player at the club. Although he is in the twilight of his career the evergreen Mitchell is showing no signs of slowing down in 2013.
Cyril Rioli – is another Hawk who has been training the house down during the week. With more midfield game time looming and a bigger bag of tricks than an Amsterdam lady-of-the-night, the delicious one will surely be one of most picked players this year in AFL Dreamteam & SuperCoach.
Grant Birchall – was spotted training with the rehab group during the week. The Hawks’ will be looking to boost his training loads in the lead up to the NAB Cup.
Mitch Hallahan – left the track early, nursing his hamstring after training with the rehab group last week.
Sam Blease – has noticeably improved his endurance levels on previous seasons and trained well during the week. The young speedster will be looking to have a break out season in 2013.
Michael Evans – was the one of the best at training this week. His pace and work ethic really stood out. After a good start to his career in 2011, Evans was stalled by back injuries 2012, he could be a real DreamTeam smoky in 2013.
Colin Sylvia – was again training with the rehab during the week. He is apparently suffering from a niggling back injury stemming back to his pre season 2012 neck injury.
Jimmy Toumpas – is still suffering from a niggling calf injury & was confined to the rehab group during the week.
NORTH MELBOURNE KANGAROOS
Brent Harvey – is typically training the house down & is keen to get amongst the NAB Cup action early. Harvey will miss the first 6 weeks of the season due to suspension but his pre season form has been impressive.
Ben Jacobs – has had a successful recovery from surgery on his troublesome ankles and is running with full mobility & freedom. The former Power half back is on track for a NAB Cup berth.
Jordan Gysberts – after such a bright start to his career, Gysberts prospects are looking down. To put it glibly; he makes Cale Morton look like beefcake. Another product of the Melbourne Demons.
Week commencing 21/01/13:
I have written and re-written this paragraph at least 8 times now, and quite frankly, it’s getting a little tedious – particularly after a couple of cold beverages whilst watching Lance Armstrong’s face appear for the fifteen trillionth time over the weekend, I’m pretty keen to just get on and think about the football. So here goes…
As Adelaide continue the road to off-field recovery with the appointment of Nigel Smart to the position of Chief Operating Officer, the Crow’s on-field progress continues to tick along just nicely. Luke Thompson rejoined the main training group after his off-season, moon boot inducing ankle surgery (a week behind schedule by my count), which means that again most of the list is nearing a full training load. The most notable exceptions are rookies (such as Rory Atkins and Sam Siggins) and Daniel Talia, who continues to recover from his forearm injury.
Coach Brenton Sanderson has highlighted both Luke Brown and Richard Tambling as performing “really well” at training – both guys who could use a breakout year (particularly in the case of Tambling).
Andy Otten, often the forgotten man of the Crows’ backline after the loss of Bock and Davis and injuries to the likes of Talia and Shaw, is said to have trimmed down this season with the aim of boosting his agility, speed and repeat effort levels. If he can retain his spot in the side, I’ve always liked his consistency (if not always his decision making under pressure), and he could be one to watch given that there is a place for his type with the departure of Michael Doughty.
And yes, another shameless plug for quality analysis of the Crows’ list here – feel free to share it around!
The third year of the Brett Burton era up north is still heavily focussed on running, with times steadily decreasing (according to midfielder Jack Redden). Importantly, Simon Black (knee), Matthew Leuenberger (knee) and Jed Adcock (hip) are all on-track to return by Round 1 (By the way, and I would love to rant about this some time, but what IS the obsession with Round 1? It’s a long season after all, and surely it would pay to get your body right, rather than rush back for a game that notionally doesn’t mean that much?)
The redhead named Green looks set to benefit from Burton’s endurance focus, and is said to be burning up the track, and will look to build upon his 12 games last year. Whilst it will be a hard slog to get into that midfield, it won’t hurt Michael Voss to look to the future at some point, and Green may be the ideal candidate. Additionally, Sam Docherty is in tremendous shape, coming back from the break in the top five fitness-wise.
Can the Lions suck as badly as they did last year? Find out here as KP breaks down the Brisbane list.
Carlton have been focussing on their strength and conditioning over the last week looking to add some size and, which can only help their tackling effectiveness. They have been keeping sessions relatively short and intense, which serves to simulate fatigued decision making under match conditions, and keep the players fresh. (Incidentally, these issues were all highlighted in Scotty’s list analysis of Carlton last week, which you can read here.)-Marc Murphy remains as the Blues’ biggest injury concern as he is set to resume training shortly after clean-ups on both his right knee and left shoulder.
Significantly, Robbie Warnock has thus far had a full pre-season for the first time in a long time, which means he has put on non-Christmas eating related bulk, and should return fitter and stronger than ever. He will be vital in the event that Matthew Kreuzer struggles to get his body right. Also worth mentioning is that 23 year old inside mid Ed Curnow has broken a 24 year old club record for the 3.2 km time trial, being paced to a 9 minute 44 second scorcher by Olympian Craig Mottram. Whilst Mottram is unlikely to tag him anytime soon, it does bode well for the youngster’s speed and endurance.
Our friends at Gosch’s Paddock used last week to continue their build to the NAB Cup, with a series of drills aimed at improving their defence, as well as their hand speed (insert your own joke here). They’re moving on up – nothin’ can stop them…yeah. We learned that although Luke Ball (knee) is an outside chance for the NAB Cup, he is unlikely and may not play round 1. Dale Thomas (as flagged last week) is still about 3 weeks away from resuming full training.
Of note, was the fact that Ben Hudson has shaved off his beard. It seems that, whilst he cannot play like a young man, he can (try to) look like one. Of more interest to me was the fact that Nathan Buckley signalled that Hudson’s ‘bit of mongrel,’ was rubbing off on the players – this nous can only serve to improve the Pies’ ruck division this year, and a Pies midfield that consistently gets first look at the ball? Scary.
Check out KP’s annoyingly positive take on Collingwood’s 2013 chances here.
The Bombers had their first training session at their new facility last week, and the mood around the place could not be more chipper with barely a hint of the soft tissue injuries that plagued them last season. The players have slimmed down and the group only has Scott Gumbleton (soreness) and Travis Colyer on restricted programs, whilst Joe Daniher (knee) is still easing his way back in to full training.
Both Skipper Jobe Watson and football manager Danny Corcoran have both highly praised mature aged recruit Nick Kommer as being a standout on the track, with the on-baller set to have a run in the NAB cup. With his reputation as a hard nut, he could be set to make an instant impact for the Bombers.
Ross Lyon’s methodical preparation for the coming season continues on schedule out west. There remains a few injury concerns to key players, Matthew Pavlich (hip, back, Achilles, general old age) and Ryan Crowley (torn pectoral muscle), with Pavlich ahead of schedule and hoping to play at least one NAB cup game, whilst Crowley will not be able to return to full training until February.
In news that I’m sure will thrill KP, Danyle Pearce is said to be showing the class that made him the NAB rising star in 2006, providing poise during full-ground drills and hitting Kepler Bradley on the lead on two occasions. He is indeed a classy addition to the Dockers’ midfield.
Week commencing 14/01/13:
It has been a weird first week back of pre season 2013. Geelong & North Melbourne held a joint training session, presumably so the Scott brothers could complete every pair of identical twins fantasy of playing ‘swapsies’ and seeing if people would notice. 2013 has been unfortunate for the Hawks copping a colossal pounding from lady luck with a gun recruit spending a night in the clink, an Irish recruit that never was & a talented youngster cut down with another ACL injury. Things got even weirder late in the week when Jack Grimes was spotted looking injury free!
Shane Kersten – moves extremely well for a big man and has filled out nicely. His skills were a standout on the track during the week. He had a good season in the VFL last year and is looking like he could get a taste of the big time in 2013.
Paul Chapman – for the second pre season in a row Chappy is looking very good. He has been able to complete most of the work so far this pre season and stood out on the track during the week.
Josh Caddy – his intensity was again outstanding on the track during the week. He is giving himself every chance of forcing his way into the Cats’ star studded midfield.
James Podsiadly – the J-Pod is looking good on the track. Interestingly he has spent much of the pre season with the defensive group.
Jared Rivers – was spotted training away from the main group during the week. Hopefully it isn’t anything serious but with Pods training with the defenders it’s clear that the Cats are worried about their KPD depth.
Hamish McIntosh – was sight unseen during the week. The former Roos’ ruckman hasn’t had a great pre season history so missing at this stage is pretty much par for the course.
GOLD COAST SUNS
Dion Prestia – has joined in with the main group after recovering from a hamstring injury. The young hardnut has impressed with his physicality on the track.
Jaeger O’Meara – this kid is a beast & is sure to become a favourite of many fantasy coaches. O’Meara’s track work has been top notch over the past week and pre season to date & he is looking cherry ripe to maul opposition midfields in 2013.
Sam Day – has put on some real mass this pre season and now has an AFL size frame. This has been his first uninterrupted pre season. The Suns will be hoping 2013 is the year that their young KPPs like Day can make their mark on the AFL.
Michael Rischitelli & Trent McKenzie – both starred in the Suns’ debut season but have since struggled with injury woes. Knee tendonitis has confined both of them to rehab for at least the next couple of weeks.
GREATER WESTERN SYDNEY GIANTS
Tom Scully – has been one of the best trainers for the Giants during the pre season. It may not be worth the million dollar price tag in itself but the positive influence on young team mates as well as an increased on field output in 2013 will be invaluable to the young Giants.
Lachie Whitfield – has looked really good on the track this pre season. Spent 2 days last week at the AFLPA camp and looks likely to make an early season debut.
Setanta O’hAilpin – is still with the rehab group due to his ACL recovery. Big Carlos should join the main group in late January.
Jack Gunston – after a cracking debut season in the brown & gold, Norman is training the house down. Like fellow forward Luke Breust, Gunston is looking to boost his endurance by training with the midfield group.
Ciaran Kilkenny – after being much hyped throughout the pre season the young Irishman has made the decision to remain in Ireland & pursue his GAA career.
Brian Lake – the former Bulldogs’ full back was embarrassingly arrested in Sorrento for being drunk & disorderly.
Alex Woodward – tragically, ruptured his ACL for the 2nd consecutive pre season. 2013 hasn’t been kind to the Hawks so far.
Dom Barry – is rake thin but has a touch of pace and class about him. He has been one of the Dees’ surprise packets this pre season & an early season debut wouldn’t be out of the question at this rate.
Dean Terlich – another SANFL product whose skills have impressed on the track during the week. He is a nice size and should play a half back sweeping role. He is definitely worth looking at during the NAB cup for fantasy coaches.
Dan Nicholson – has been outstanding over this pre season & is another potential fantasy bargain for AFL Dreamteam & SuperCoach players.
Jack Grimes – was spotted training with the main group during the week and was moving with total freedom and trained very well.
James Magner & Colin Sylvia – were spotted training away from the main group and were restricted to light duties.
Colin Garland – missed training during the week and with Lynden Dunn & potentially Tom Gillies breathing down his neck his position in Melbourne’s best team could be under threat.
NORTH MELBOURNE KANGAROOS
Kieran Harper – has bulked up considerably to the tune of 7kgs over pre season and was outstanding on the track again last week.
Robbie Tarrant – is having his best pre season to date. After a shocking history with shoulder injuries, Tarrant was able to have his best season in 2012 & will be looking to improve further in 2013.
Majak Daw – perhaps the most hyped footballer to never play a game is looking to turn that around in 2013. While the Roos are well stocked for big men, the depature of Hamish McIntosh has left the Daw (nyuck nyuck nyuck) slightly ajar for Majak who trained strongly during the week.
Daniel Wells – has had a pre season interrupted by calf and achilles problems. At this rate we can probably expect a sluggish start to the season from Wells.