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  1. #1
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    2024 Preseason Training Reports (Delayed information)

    All,

    We have the training reports located on their own board and they're available for active WOOF members ie members who have made a contribution to discussions on the site. As a smaller site, it's important to reward our active contributors where we can.

    I've had a lot of requests for training report information from members who join here but for whatever reasons aren't inclined to actively join in discussions.

    I've decided to provide copies of some delayed reports to hopefully encourage others that joining in discussions here is worthwhile.
    The thread will be closed from questions and responses so that we don't get a lot of duplication.
    Essentially reports will be held back for a week before being added to this thread.
    Western Bulldogs Football Club "Where it's cool to drool"

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    Re: 2024 Preseason Training Reports (Delayed information)

    This update is from Monday 27/11
    Updates from 29/11 and 31/11 are on the Bulldogs Training Sessions board.

    The AFL report pretty much covers things. Very late start due to all the new players arriving and welcomes etc. There was a strong stream of activity coming out the main room. Bains, Grant, Power and Milesi all headed back into the admin area after all the presentations.


    Just some snippets
    Baz Smith looked in ripping condition as was expected and was moving around exceptionally well.
    Harmes is a very social player and was talking and encouraging a lot of team mates along.
    This might be the making of Cody Weightman as he seems to have made a lot of progress with his fitness and running.
    Great to see Treloar running freely with his team mates. Light duties yes but 12 months back it was a very different story
    Lobb was the first out of the track and just seemed itching to get into it.
    Arty and Liam Jones seem to pal around a bit.
    Vandermeer was also running strongly and seems to have sharpened up his kicking well at least in a couple of drills.
    English hasn't missed a beat.

    New Recruits
    Sanders is a serious contender for round 1. I'm normally very reserved with expectations on the younger players but he's far more advanced than many before him.
    You're going to hear this a lot so get used to it but Freijah is a smooth mover. He is quite an adept kick as well.
    Lachlan Smith was doing a lot of running with English and Keath. He moves a bit better than I thought he might
    Croft is another strong runner. He will need some time though.
    Bramble started off slowly during the warm-ups before hitting his stride a bit later. I like this move by the club and he will be around the mark.

    I've got a bit more to cover off but because of the delayed start I couldn't stay as late as I would have liked.
    Western Bulldogs Football Club "Where it's cool to drool"

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  4. #3
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    Re: 2024 Preseason Training Reports (Delayed information)

    This from Smads57 from Wednesday 29/11

    So have shaken out the raincoat and umbrella and am ready to go...

    Bullet points (as usual)...

    - Caleb Daniel in civvies and on the boundary - didn't appear to be limping or the like, not sure why he wasn't training
    - no sign of VDM, but missed the first 30 mins of training, so he could have been off the track early
    - Libba didn't participate in any training nor Bont. We know why Bont isn't training, but what's up with Libba(?)
    - Bedendo was out completing a small number of 'slow' run thrus then having a kick to kick with Bont for 10 mins using his left foot...promising
    - AOD only completing a short stint of run thrus at full pace then left training early
    - other players not involved in training and completing run thrus were Weightman, Cleary, Treloar and JJ
    - during the session, other players did come to the sidelines for short stints including Darcy, Coffield, Duyrea and L Smith
    - Freijah and Sanders completed most of the training with the main group (Sanders is super smooth....)
    - first time I've personally noted Geary taking some of the drills. Still no goal kicking coach per se
    - more obvious groups of players training together today with Buku amongst the backs and Darcy the forwards
    - didn't see Croft at all (is he recovering from post season surgery?)
    - watched a particular training drill with fwds v backs and it was Jones v Darcy with Darcy certainly holding his own if not beating Liam
    - a lot of tackling drills seemed to be taking place today (I'm sure G will comment further)
    - Smith looked strong in the drills (first time I had seen his this pre-season) along with Richards
    - others to impress....(got to be careful here and not just name favorites) included Lobb, West, JUH (ok JUH is a favourite)
    Western Bulldogs Football Club "Where it's cool to drool"

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    Re: 2024 Preseason Training Reports (Delayed information)

    This is one of mine from Wednesday 29/11

    Players tended to train in their various groups today.
    Buku with the defenders and Darcy moving across all groups.
    There was a big boy session with the tallest players all pitted against each other.
    Plenty of of wrestling sessions and a lot of ball movement work..

    A lot of players rotating through the rehab group. Bedendo looks to be progressing nicely and did a bit of light running.
    All of his kicking of the footy was with the left foot

    With the full update below

    One of my favourite TV characters was Cheer's Clifford C Clavin. The Postie who delivered in all conditions.
    The poor weather this morning had me questioning my sanity (which is probably long overdue anyway) but I thought if it was good enough for Clifford C then I needed to soldier on

    Actually conditions weren't that bad.

    Training started a bit before the schedule with a lot of players on the field.

    Rehab/Light Duties/Managed
    A few more in this group and rotating through this group than ideal but vastly different to 12 months back at Skinner Reserve.
    JJ and Treloar did a lot of running together and were having a chat too each other on the way.
    Weightman was doing a lot of running as well but nothing much with the football, I'd class that as he was being managed.
    Bont did some kicking with Cleary but hasn't been running. Cleary did a bit of running and didn't seem to be hampered.
    I don't think I saw Croft on the field today today but the other of our draftees all rotated through this group.
    Sanders and Freijah did some running together and were just being managed. Both did some impressive things in the footy drills with the main group. More on that a bit later. Caleb Daniel was an onlooker today and just about performed the goal kicking coach duties as he stayed down at one end. Libba did some running really early but is definitely being managed.
    Bedendo did some light running but had a beaming smile on his face which indicates he's close to returning. He's a specimen of an athlete and lets hope he gets some continuity over the summer with his training. In some light kick-to-kick duties he was only kicking with his left foot. Bramble was on light duties but I couldn't tell why.
    L.Smith moved in and out this group. It's pretty clear we are going to ease our new draftees into the sessions. None of the boys did any of the wrestling sessions. Coffield dropped into the group late in proceedings and did some work with one of the fitness guys.

    Training Drills
    It was a real sessions the defensive, midfield and forward groups training together with their coaches leading the way.
    Early on all the bigger boys were pitted against each other with Brendan Lade overseeing it. English, Darcy, Lobb, Keath, Jones, Busslinger and L.Smith were all mixing it up in a spirited session. When the ball hit the ground the midfielders would role in demanding the football and it was great to see the likes of Sanders (Sando) and Arty Jones getting on the end of a few handballs and working their way in for goals. Sanders just oozes class. Arty just has a bit more excitement about him.

    Defenders
    Khamis trained fully with the defensive group for the 2nd time. O'Donnell looks a more composed player and is someone who might be benefiting from a proper preseason. Richards and Dale are the primer movers, Jones, Keath and Busslinger as the KPP and Coffield mixes up some of the creative and linking play and he seems to be a decent kick. Darcy moved in and out of this group and I think he contributed into all groups. Poulter spent some time with this group before moving back with the midfielders

    Midfielders
    West looks in superb condition easily the best I have seen him. He moved between this group and the forwards
    Macrae, Garcia, Baker, Gallagher and McNeil were all charged with getting the ball moving quickly. Williams and Poulter did a couple of precision type kicks that stood out. Freijah and Sanders look comfortable in all their midfield work. Harmes trains hard and is good at encouraging others. I'm warming to his inclusion.

    Forwards
    Naughton is leading the charge here and Marra and Lobb are right in it with him. Darcy made some cameo's as he moved around all the groups. West was busy as well. All the boys linked up in the various drills with Spangher.

    In the wet and blustery conditions the real focus getting the ball moving which is typical for most training sessions.

    The other session that was conducted in the various groups is a session I'd like to refer to as
    F-Off the Footy is Mine
    Basically the bigger boys, midfielders, forwards and defenders competed against the team mates in pairs with one player on the ground tightly held while his opponent did the best to prise it off them. Supervised by the various coaches it's not a session that was taken lightly and it was competed at a very serious level. Marra and Lobb really got into it.
    All of the contests were done in the right spirit. Perhaps a greater emphasis on tackling and wrestling for the footy will be part of the theme this year.
    Western Bulldogs Football Club "Where it's cool to drool"

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  8. #5
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    Re: 2024 Preseason Training Reports (Delayed information)

    From Friday 1/12/23. This one from Mat Lyons

    Western Bulldogs 'Track Spy' Training Report:

    40 players on the track today, with Bailey Dale, Liam Jones, Laith Vandermeer and Jordan Croft the notable absentees.

    'The Bont' made an appearance with a series of short 25-metre kicks, all off his left boot, before returning indoors. He looked fit and strong and I was told that he will likely re-join main training in approximately two weeks time.

    In even better news, Dom Bedendo has recovered significantly from his earlier scare, where he had an innocuous fall last week and ended his day on crutches. Some had reported likely ankle ligament damage and one speculated it may have been his achillies. However, he spoke to me directly today and said he wil resume full training soon, before completing a series of sprints and runs. Given his recent fastest overall time in the 2km trials (his time was faster than Bailey Smith who won the second trial), let's hope he can have a big pre-season, as he is my tip for the big improver in 2024.

    The remaining players were split into three even 'active' groups, all mixed ability and positions. A forth group was made up of light-work/rehab players, some of whom transitioned in and out of the three active teams. Of those mainly running laps, completing non-physical tasks included: Liberatore, Johannisen, Treloar, English, Arty Jones, Weightman, Clarke, Bramble, O'Driscoll and Cleary.

    The active groups rotated through a series of drills including a ten vs ten player 120-metre compressed match simulation, five on five handball match scoring using nets, transition training, and stoppage work with an emphasis on bursting out of packs and body positioning of teammates to allow gut running exits.

    In short, it was intense, high octane, relentless and bloody impressive. The notable changes for me from last year are:

    a) No carnival atmosphere - last season all the sessions had music blaring and there was a lot of laughter. That can be a great thing obviously, with players clearly enjoying their work and each others' company. Today however, it was all focus, military-style transitions and repeated messaging around the "What phase are we in?!" (I will elaborate shortly).

    b) The professionalism, communication and planning of the Assistant Coaches today was exceptional. While I observed great energy and instruction in previous years, the coaches today appeard to work more collaboratively and had an understanding of each's role within each drill, demonstrating how organised and planned their coach's meeting must have been. The synergy was incredibly evident, down to the timing of the cones being set and replaced, with different staff running in to re-set for the next drill as seamlessly as a stage-hand would arrange the props and set for the next scene at the theatre. Loved seeing this.

    The stand out performers and moments:
    1. Jamarra's fitness and running has gone to the next level. He was the pack leader every time in his group and kicking was a feature.
    2. Darcy's intercept ability is exceptional. He floated time after time to mark in the match simulations and his long-reach spoils and break-up of opponent's play was a thing of poetry.
    3. Doc Duryea's voice and coaching was the most noticable. Encouraging, demanding and matched by his endeavour in the drills. One chase-down tackle of Poulter drew whoops and applause from teammates.
    4. Sanders! He moves like a wasp. He can change direction and zip past players for fun. He creates space for himself and has a look of urgency. Pencil him in for Round 1.
    5. Freijah looks like a real prospect. Uses the ball well, is confident, fast and clean. Like the look of him!!
    6. Caleb Daniel's hands in close and decision making + composure is second to none.
    7. Garcia looks and plays like Libba. He was tenacious and in everything. "Oh yes Sonny!" could be heard on loop, as he dominated.
    8. Bailey Smith and Oscar Baker's running capacity both standouts.
    9. Keath looked fresh and using his smarts to great advantage.
    [/COLOR]
    [COLOR=var(--primary-text)]10. VFL Coach Stewie Edge was calling the shots like a boss. Really loved his style and has the attention of all when he speaks. Two lines that he repeated were "Have some adventure in your thinking" and "Be opened minded with how we score", clearly encouraging players to be creative, take risks and look for unexpected opportunities.
    11. Anthony Scott trained beautifully. Ran hard, finished expertly.
    12. O'Donnell looks more mature and 'at home'. I like his chances of locking down his spot.
    13. West was strong through the hips and really driving hard in stoppages. Appears to be battling Harmes for a role.
    14. Bevo involved in kicking drills, which he doesn't usually do. He worked with Lobb and Gardner to set them up for marking with the bags.
    15. Buku took an absolute hanger on the 'Specky Bag'.

    *Regarding the 'four phases', some may have seen the Club video where Bevo speaks of this and challenges the players to be the fastest, strongest and best prepared team in his nine years at the club. He talks about the four phases - 1. When we are attacking 2. When we are defending 3. When the ball is in dispute/stoppage and 4. When you are not in the play but have a role and responsibility (instructional or positional). On the scoreboard, players in each team were awarded points for the 4th phase and these were updated live for all to see. Players constantly keeping an eye on progress of their 'team' and coaches updating with their hand held devices throughout the session. Also listed on the board and scoring points was 'End Zone' which I will explain in my next report!

    Any questions, please don't hesitate to ask!
    Western Bulldogs Football Club "Where it's cool to drool"

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  10. #6
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    Re: 2024 Preseason Training Reports (Delayed information)

    This from Friday 1/12 from Smads57

    The two previous training posts (Mat/G) well and truly cover the training session today where observers were able to watch drills that aligned closer to match simulation (than drills earlier in the week)

    There's a bit of discussion around players moving in and out of the rehab group and a question raised in an earlier post around the comparative 'size' of the group this year versus the the same group last year at Skinner. On this point it is too early to make a call whether things are better, same or worse as the whole group have only been back this week. It will become more apparent later down the track.

    Although it may sound slightly 'alarming' to hear a player is in the rehab group, the group is never homogenous in their 'disabilities' (observationally).

    You could almost rank the rehab group into five sub groups:

    1. unable to train - last preseason Charlie Clarke was someone in this grouping - he could only complete handball drills pre Xmas while standing on the sidelines before commencing some running in the New Year. There is no-one in that group at present (unless that explains the absence of Croft from training this week)

    2. recovering from 'injury' - this would be Bont and Bedendo. Within this group and depending on the players injury determines the time they spend on the sidelines and the extent of training they can complete as they recover. Bont still seems to be in the early stage - just some light kick to kick exercises today (but with his left foot), while as noted above by G, Bedendo has moved onto running at stretch (albeit straight line) as of today. This is the group we want to see with small numbers as it did get to around half a dozen players at times last pre-season post Xmas (think Garcia, West, Weightman, Mclean, VDM)

    3. pre-cautionary (A) - for most weeks, this seems to be the largest grouping of players - maybe they have tweaked a quad or feeling hamstring tightness, so instead of completing all training drills will spend time in the warm up with the main group before meeting with trainers to discuss their individual 'recovery' which for many will be repeated run thrus with invariably little kicking of footballs. Today Weightman, AOD, Clarke and English were in this group. We want players in this group a maximum of two weeks only.

    4. pre-cautionary (B) - these players are potentially protecting 'recent' injuries and/or still being 'massaged' into the training regimen so when the training ramps up to include tackling/body contact, they move to the sidelines. They will complete run thrus and kicking exercises but no contact drills. Today, Artie, Bramble, JJ, Cleary, Libba and Treloar were part of that group. Ideally, players re-integrate into contact drills as there bodies become stronger

    5. pre-cautionary (C) - the new recruits sit in this group which is similar to above with respect to the player/s being 'massaged' into the full training regimen. Sanders, Freijah and Smith would have been involved with 80% of the main training today as they work towards 100% over the full pre-season.

    Just re-reading Mat's 'Track Spy' report above, I had forgotten they had music at Skinner during last pre-season's training sessions - a 'sound' pick up Mat!
    Western Bulldogs Football Club "Where it's cool to drool"

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  12. #7
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    Re: 2024 Preseason Training Reports (Delayed information)

    This from Friday 1/12/23 and is one of mine.

    Busy training session which was exceptionally well organised. Players are very clear with their expectations on what drills they should be in and which groups they need to join when the heavier tackling or contact drills are in action. It's like watching Ice Hockey players rotating on and off the bench with the way some of our players switch between the rehab and main training drills.

    Modified Training / Rehab and Light duties
    A lot of players rotate through this area which has been supervised on the Hawkins wing but it's nowhere near as bad as the numbers might suggest. Some players only join that group for a 5 to 7 minute block before returning to the next drills.
    Bedendo has made rapid progress throughout the weeks. From basically just kicking the footy with his opposite foot and some light walk throughs to a very carefully (short strides) type running, today's effort was very encouraging. He did a lot of running at around 3 quarter pace and with his lengthy strides. When kicking the footy he was doing so with either footy so no hindrance there.
    If the Skinner reserve experience with rehab players is to be repeated then perhaps another week with modified work will see him return to full group training.
    Bontempelli was a late arrival to this group, I'd say he's more focused on swimming, cycling and boxing training but he was kicking the footy with a few of the players rotating in and out of the group.
    English was first out on the track today and mainly did his running by himself whereas most others are paired up in groups of 2 or 3 others. He did a power of running as well and is an absolute physical specimen now. Stopwatch in hand he required minimal supervision.
    Baz Smith started in this group but in reality spent nearly all of his training with the main group. This isn't too dissimilar to how he started a lot of sessions at Skinner reserve. He ran powerfully so I'm not sure why this is often where he starts the training sessions.
    Weightman was in the group for the entire session and it was pretty much non stop running. There were a few kicking sessions with others but it was more or less full on running. Often by himself but also he did a bit of running with Clarke and Arty Jones. It was interesting to see our main 3 small forward options all running together.
    To be fair to Jones he only joined this group during the heavier contact sessions. I suspect we are being cautious with his shoulder recovery. Clarke also moved into one other session but was mainly in the rehab group. He mentioned he had a slight quad tightness so he didn't quite run as well as some others but he is streets ahead of where he was 12 months back.
    O'Driscoll did a lot of running and made it look so easy. I really don't know if I've seen a better runner than him as a first year player at the club.

    Treloar, JJ and Libba spent a bit of time in this group and did a lot of running together. Sanders, Freijah and Lock Smith also did a bit of work with this group. Cleary and Bramble also joined the group a few times. All of the players moved into this group when the heavier contact drills were on.
    No sighting of Dale, Vandermeer Liam Jones or Croft on the track.

    I'll write up a bit more later but I'm sure some WOOFers are keen to get a bit of information now.

    By the way and before I forget it, I'd put money on the option if Naughton was on the match committee then Sanders is playing every round. In a 5 minute match sim type drill Sanders hit him laces out perfectly on at least 3 occasions.
    Western Bulldogs Football Club "Where it's cool to drool"

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    Re: 2024 Preseason Training Reports (Delayed information)

    This one from Smad57 was posted on Monday 4/12

    Phew...glad to get out of the sun - the boys on the other hand underwent a more gruelling training session today which started at 9.30 and was still going when I left at 11.45.

    As G has noted in a previous post, there was more running drills today than Friday (I think G meant drills and not grills...freudian slip due to heat?).

    Great to see Bont and Bedendo really stretching themselves today on the sidelines - they can't be too far away from being able to join more rigorous drills. They had AOD with them as a 'mascot'.

    Was watching for the leaders in the running drills and it was the usual suspects in B Smith and Richards with Sanders usually amongst the top half dozen and Freijah not far back either, so good to see we've have in fact added some endurance running depth to the list.

    G has mentioned Scott having some trouble at one stage on the ground and having his lower leg checked by the physios. Very late in the drills VDM also went down and after a 10 min break on the sidelines with physios, returned to the drill he hurt himself in. Seemed to be shin soreness.

    Speaking of VDM - he was training with the fwds today (Buku with the defenders).

    There was a particular drill that I really enjoyed watching and might satisfy many WOOFERS to know it was being practiced.

    The drill was being run by Spangher and was around fwd play.

    A player (nominally Artie as he is still being managed) was just inside the centre circle and had to find a fwd option from a 4 fwds v 4 backs exercise (the mix was 2 talls/2 smalls). If Artie couldn't see a leading player in space, he was instructed to kick the ball back across the centre circle before receiving it back again. This allowed the fwds to get more distance on defenders and gave Artie a better option (if there wasn't one initially). The player who received the ball from Artie then had to go back and find a second fwd closer to the big sticks.

    Occasionally, Artie was allowed to ping it closer to the big boys in the goal square.

    With respect to the new recruits, Sanders, Freijah and Smith would've partaken in around 80% of the drills/running while Croft only spent a short time on the ground with some run thrus - must be carrying 'something' for his training to be so limited/restricted(?)

    G has mentioned English only running laps again today and late in the piece he was joined by Lachlan Smith - it was good to see English having a chat with his contemporary while running (surprising he had any breath left!)

    A quick word on Buss. In the VFL as the 2023 season rolled on, he became more and more the player trusted by his team mates to take the long kick out of defence. I noticed in drills today, he was being used in the same manner by senior players. This may bode well for him with regards to gaining potentially senior selection as Gardy and Chief are not the greatest exponents of this craft. He still has a way to go, but it won't be his field kicking that holds him back.

    Oh, and the music man returned today - might have been there to take the edge off all the heat/running.
    Western Bulldogs Football Club "Where it's cool to drool"

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    Re: 2024 Preseason Training Reports (Delayed information)

    This is one of mine from Monday 4/12

    Today's session started off with some good old fashioned running on laps in groups of 4 or 5 and one larger group. After about 4 laps it was off to the speed development session. Plenty of short and sharp running and use of the various medicine balls etc before the training expanded with some ball movement skills.

    Rehab/Managed workloads
    As mentioned earlier, English basically training by himself and did a lot of running in 100 and 200mtr distances, stop
    watch in hand he checked and monitored his progress and I can only recall a 5 minute chat with the fitness staff as the only time he wasn't running. As Smads pointed out late in the piece he did some running with Lock-Smith and they had a good chat as they went about their tasks.

    Bedendo must be close to a return to the main group. He's got a bit of spring in his running and was certainly taking longer strides and hitting a higher speed than in the early part of last week.
    Bontempelli came out a bit later and cranked up the music as I believe our beloved captain is the MC with all the music played.
    He did a lot of work with the resistance bands and did plenty of stretches before joining Bedendo and then later O'Driscoll with some running along the boundary line. He kept chatting with the youngsters and I thought how exciting was it for O'Driscoll to get to both run and have a chat with Bont. Bramble joined this group when Bedendo started to do more running by himself.

    Other players rotated in and out of the group but basically most of the guys in the rehab group on Friday pretty much trained fully with the boys so some encouraging signs there.

    There was no sign of Liam Jones or Dale today on the track which is the same as Friday.

    Rock-around-the-clock
    I have no idea what the real name of this drill is but the players are split into 2 groups and the footy is worked (Counter clockwise) out of defence with various passes. The coaches job is to create congestion and pressure the player with the ball who is just about to receive it. Some players were caught out by this and rushed or missed their kicks.
    The aim of the playing group is to get the ball moving forward quickly and using the various options their team mates present them with. Overall this drill was of a high quality. Some of the players that caught my eye were West, Liberatore, Garcia, Vandermeer and Daniel.

    5 on 5 Drills
    They had small groups of players pitted against each over a few sections of the ground. Goal umpires with little league type goals in place and two assistants either in the middle to start proceedings and umpiring/adjudicating the session and the heat and the non stop intensity of the session started taking it's toll on the players. When a skill error was made players were sent on a run around the goals before the the next ball up. Players that stood out on this drill were O'Donnell (could he become a winger in time?) Coffield, Harmes and Macrae.. Williams made a couple of skills errors he shouldn't and this sent the group on a couple of additional runs
    I saw Freijah really sucking in the air but to his credit he kept pushing on.

    New Kids on the Block
    Croft missed a couple of sessions on the track but was moving freely today so I'm not sure why he missed last week.
    Sanders participated in everything. Impressive youngster with his skill and work ethic.
    O'Driscoll did a couple of the early drills with the main group but was is having his workload managed.
    Freijah did all the sessions with the main group and some of his kicking was of a high quality.
    Smith did most of the sessions with the main group including some running and footy skill work with the Big Boys group.
    I can't recall last year the taller boys being grouped together was frequently as I have this preseason. it might only be for 1 or 2 x 5minute sessions but it's an intriguing change of direction.
    Harmes and Coffield trained fully and Bramble is having his workload managed.
    Western Bulldogs Football Club "Where it's cool to drool"

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    Re: 2024 Preseason Training Reports (Delayed information)

    5 reports from today's training session are in the main thread. Huge day that included a match sim with two new Footscray boys on display in Rhett Montgomerie and Trent Bianco.
    Western Bulldogs Football Club "Where it's cool to drool"

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    Re: 2024 Preseason Training Reports (Delayed information)

    This one from Smads57 from Wednesday 6/12

    As you might guess at this stage of the pre-season, the players are 'borderline flying' (and according to the nightly news, the players at the other 17 clubs are also...)

    So what to say about today's session. Firstly as G notes in an earlier post, a very 'organised' session with many skills being practised (including tackling skills Eastie)

    Observations follow:

    - Dale back training and completed most of the drills, so nothing wrong with him
    - Buss just running laps today (along with Bont and English)
    - Scott on sidelines for a short spell and kicking the ball - looks like no major damage after Monday's training incident
    - AOD completed some kicking drills today before running laps
    - Croft involved in most drills, so looks like he's not carrying anything after all
    - Jones and JJ were not present today
    - can put to bed that at present Buku is training with the backline group and VDM with the forward line group
    - Cleary, Weightman and Clarke completed all/most drills after being in one of the rehab groups for a few sessions
    - Sanders, Smith and Freijah again completed 80-85% of drills
    - seen a ruck drill involving L Smith for the first time today (up against Darcy) - seemed to hold his own
    - Daniel started the session on field but then went off and basically just stood on the boundary line for the rest of the time (no running)
    - watching the coaching staff - Bevo letting the others do the work while he observed - sometimes standing in the centre square, other times coming alongside a drill to watch combatants closer
    - coaches buddied up today for drills were Edge/Egan, AJ/Pratt, Spangher/Maddocks, Lade/Geary
    - senior players refer to Sanders as Sando when calling for the ball (not Colonel...). With Freijah its simply Joel or Joely
    - new head of fitness was also noticeable on the ground with a whistle, stop watch and clipboard
    - Bedendo completed all of the running and kicking drills before joining rehab group - clearly getting better
    - Treloar come off the ground a couple of times - seemed to be getting some treatment to one of his calf muscles
    - Gallagher having a good run with training this pre-season
    - least amount of time in the rehab group for Coffield today while Libba/Bramble spent up to 50% (if not more) in the rehab group
    - Garcia had to come out of the main training and run laps about two-thirds into the session

    Caught up with G who will elaborate I'm sure further on the 'organisation' of the drills.

    Finally - an early call for Richards to be part of the 2024 leadership group (is there a thread on this topic yet?)
    Western Bulldogs Football Club "Where it's cool to drool"

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  19. #12
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    Re: 2024 Preseason Training Reports (Delayed information)

    This is one of mine from Wednesday 6/12

    Lets start with the normal

    Rehab/Managed Group
    This group consisted of a smaller number of players rotating through and there was no sighting on the track of Jason Johannisen or Liam Jones and after a brief session on the field Caleb Daniel was an onlooker near the goals at the ELC end for the balance of the day.
    Marcus Bontempelli was again easing into the seasons training using the exercise bands and some specialised running drills as he builds up his fitness base. This is a contrast from 12 months back when Bont didn’t miss a single session. Today he certainly stepped up his running compared to Monday. He looks to be in ripping condition.

    As we've become accustomed to, Ryley Sanders, Jordon Croft, Joel Freijah and Lachlan Smith rotate through this group when the heavier more contact orientated drills are in full swing with the main group. To me it’s encouraging to see the way we have managed this group and the progress they're making when compared to the challenges we had with Jedd Busslinger, Charlie Clarke and Harvey Gallagher over the summer of 2022/23. It’s early days but the boys are off to a very steady start.

    After some initial training with he main group both Jedd Busslinger and Dom Bedendo joined the rehab group and seemed to be moving very freely. Busslinger has added a lot of size since he first arrived and is a massive contrast from the skinny kid that arrived at the club 12 months ago. Anthony Scott who copped a heavy knock on Monday was on the field but only did a small amount of kicking. O'Driscoll did a bit of running but we are clearly working to a plan there and easing him into the training.
    Riley Garcia also joined this group later in proceedings and it seemed it was more of a management of workload plan than anything else. Tim English also trained by himself for the majority of the session.
    Tom Liberatore and Adam Treloar rotated through with Treloar getting some work done on his calf before returning to the main group.


    Skill Drills
    A number of skill drills on display today and the first one was focused on getting the ball moving quickly and to ensure the passes were well out in front of the intended target so they didn't have to stop or slow down to mark it. The skills on display were quite noticeable and there were some expended passages of play where precision kicks and handballs were hitting their targets.

    Some of the specialised sessions were named Rye Star and Ice-Hockey Hub. The Ice Hockey one is getting the players to run with and handball the footy into the nets that were set-up. Two groups of 5 players pitted against each other to get the ball moving. It's a great drill that needs players to both defend and then attack and its very fast paced.
    Gallagher was one of the better performers in this session and really stood out.

    There were a few iterations of 4 main drills that focused on
    Stoppage Craft down in the 50mtr arc of the ELC. This was supervised by Lade and Geary and the initial players included
    Treloar, B.Smith, Sanders, Macrae, Gallagher, Harmes, Williams and Garcia.

    Guard Method on the Hawkins wing. This was supervised by Johnson and Pratt and initially included the following players
    Duryea, Coffield, Baker, Richards, Poulter, Bramble, Dale and Cleary. The aim was for the defensively assigned players to defend space and an opponent and create congestion. The coaches would chip the ball around until the saw an option that they wanted and the defensive players would try and intercept or disrupt their opponents. Good session.

    Groundball was at the Bakers Cafe end and was overseen by Egan and Edge. The players included Weightman, Clarke, West, Vandermeer, McNeil, A.Jones and Freijah. Just a lot of work performed with the ball hitting the deck and players trying to get it off to a team mate in a better position.

    Marking/DOB aka Big Boys was done at the Geelong road end and was a 5 on 5 drill supervised by Spangher and Maddocks.
    Ugle-Hagan, Lobb, Darcy, Naughton and L.Smith as the forwards pitted against Croft, O'Donnell, Khamis, Keath and Gardner.

    The next session focused on Positional Kicks
    Exit Kicks that included the defenders Duryea, Coffield, JOD, Richards, Khamis, Dale, Cleary, Keath and Gardener
    Kick & Cut that included the midfielders in Treloar, B.Smith, Sanders, Macrae, Gallagher, Baker, Harmes, Poulter, Freijah, Williams and Garcia.
    Entry that included the forwards Ugle-Hagan, Weightman, Lobb, Clarke, West, Vandermeer, McNeil, A.Jones and Naughton.

    I'll write up some more a bit later.
    Western Bulldogs Football Club "Where it's cool to drool"

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  21. #13
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    Re: 2024 Preseason Training Reports (Delayed information)

    Well you are in for a bonanza of reports from Friday 8/12/23 training session.
    These will be the last I copy over here because if the quality and variety of these reports don't motivate our many new and returning members of the site to join in the discussions and help build the WOOF community then clearly nothing will.

    These are the reports, it doesn't capture the questions and answers that are contained in the thread.
    Western Bulldogs Football Club "Where it's cool to drool"

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  23. #14
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    Re: 2024 Preseason Training Reports (Delayed information)

    This one is from Smads57 that was originally posted on Friday 8/12/23.

    Not the kindest of conditions for the players as the morning progressed. Wind was quite blustery at the end and was affecting some of the kicking skills on show, so can't be critical.

    Might be a bit of an overlap with G's thoughts (so far) and in the near future, but here goes anyway...

    - missing today were Jones (paternity leave), JJ and B Smith
    - running the boundary again today were English and Garcia, but Buss back with the main group training
    - Bedendo and Bont stepped up again (just slightly for Bont) early in the piece before coming from the ground
    - Bramble, Duyrea and Artie completed some of the earlier drills before running the boundary. Libba also on/off field as he continues to be managed
    - some nicknames picked up from the sidelines today - VDM - Badger, O'Driscoll - Drizz, and L Smith just plain Lach/Lachie. JOD was JOD or James
    - O'Driscoll would've completed 60-70% of the training drills before being managed whereas Sanders/Freijah would have been up to 95%
    - L Smith was on for the most part while Croft would've been around the 60-70%
    - in one of the match sim drills L Smith up against Darcy and at other times Lobb vs Darcy
    - no other significant role changes outside of the ones already mentioned ie Buku (back), VDM (fwd). As G notes previously, Croft playing in defence and using his long tentacles (arms) to good affect (what is it that Jack Dyer said all those years ago...)
    - short appearance from Scott on sidelines with bandaging on his right knee area
    - VFL players Bianco and Montgomerie in attendance (and seemed to fit in seamlessly)
    - was a bit 'concerned a couple of sessions previous about some sloppy handball from Freijah, but am no longer concerned after seeing him in action handballing today
    - kept an eye on Macrae thru the binoculars and he was working hard all session. At one point he had the 'pleasure(?)' of putting Sanders into the ground with a heavy tackle - penny for his thoughts at that time (I was thinking, cop that you young upstart...or something to that effect)
    Western Bulldogs Football Club "Where it's cool to drool"

  24. #15
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    Re: 2024 Preseason Training Reports (Delayed information)

    This is mine from Friday 8/12/23

    The longest training session of the week today in the toughest conditions.
    With a significant number rotating through the Rehab Group reinforcements were needed and two recent Footscray recruits joined the main group.

    New Kids on the Block
    Trent Bianco - Looked at home, solid performer midfielder.
    Rhett Montgomerie - Really looked comfortable as a mid sized intercepting defender. Very composed user of the football and it took me a while to work out what was his natural kicking foot.
    Geary confirmed there were some of our academy players there today. At a guess it was close to 10. They were going to come out after training ended.

    Rehab Group
    SMads57 has given all the details here
    English trained mostly by himself but had Garcia as a partner for probably 50% of the time. Garcia did some of the initial drills before heading over so I suspect its more of a managed workload challenge for him.
    Like Garcia, Bedendo also started in the main group before joining the Rehabbers. He does appear to be very close to a return but he also had the boots off early and headed back to the ELC. Bramble on some lighter duties as well.
    Scott had his right legged strapped and was very much restricted with his work. Exercise bands and some limited kicking was the order of the day.
    No sign of Baz, JJ or Liam (due to some parental leave) Treloar moved in a couple of times to get some work done on his calfs but it seemed more precautionary. O'Driscoll did a lot of the footy drills and didn't need to spend a lot of time with the Rehab group.
    Duryea jogging laps early then plenty of sprint work later.

    Skill Drills
    After the warmups there were a number of skills drills that focused on defensive and attacking skills and a few very spirited Ice-Hockey Hub contests. There was a focus on Exit Kicks, Kick and Cut and Forward line entry. Not as much tackling as in previous sessions. There was also some stoppage craft work.
    The main part was the teamwork focused drill of kicking marking and handballs which given the conditions was a pretty high standard. Liberatore continually frustrated me with some poor kicking in amongst some good ones but his ongoing determination is of a high standard as we've come to expect. The tough conditions were ideal for Macrae who worked had and linked up with players.
    Some of the youngsters performed very well especially Clark, Gallagher and West leading the way and surprisingly the bigger boys in Lobb, Coffield and O'Donnell all doing well. I even saw Keath in full stride and winning one of the sprints and on top of that Khamis has made some progress as well. Great to see Arty Jones and his infectious enthusiasm joining the group.

    Match Sim
    It was 15 v 15 contest
    Darcy and Lobb were pitted against each other and occasionally Lock Smith jumped into the middle. Lobb was a standout throughout the day so no surprise there. Darcy looks very good as well and is so far ahead of where he was 12 months back it's really noticeable
    Smith is doing better than I hoped for but is obviously a long way off.
    Great to see Gallagher and Sanders right in the middle and they both stood out. Daniel, Treloar, Macrae and West in
    With Scott on the sidelines our wingers today included Williams v Poulter and Freijah v Baker. All 4 players performed. Really impressed with the way Freijah was able to do a couple of Bont like handballs when he was being tackled.
    O'Donnell was a standout today and for supercoach lovers he will be priced nicely for selection in the Classic format. He's now a mark kick and run past to accept a handball and then kick again type player now. He is really linking up well with the other defenders and mids. It was hard for our key forward in Naughton and Marra today but Naughty impressed a couple of times with is ability to impact a contest when the ball was on the ground and he scooped up a couple of loose ball gets in an impressive manner.
    Weightman was also very noticeable and it's fair to say the conditions probably favoured the smaller guys including Daniel, Treloar, Richards, Dale, Vandermeer, Sanders, and Harmes. Interesting that Harmes started forward but was also noticeable in the back half at times. Sanders is just so composed and looks more like a 3rd year player who's finding this are coming a bit easier for him.

    After the Match Sim the players stayed on and started doing more footy craft work.
    The coaches work them very hard and it was a hot day when the sun came out.
    Western Bulldogs Football Club "Where it's cool to drool"

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