Thursday morning was business as usual at Old Saleyards. Elsewhere, critical mass approached as the media feasted upon the news of Jarryd Hayne requesting a release from the Titans. A couple of months ago I documented my opinion by writing about a return of The Champ in my Season Review wish list. Nothing’s official as far as Parramatta is concerned, but obviously I’m in favour of a home coming.
Today was a big field session of around 90 minutes. A collection of spectators were in attendance, and the work undertaken was worthy of a dedicated report.
Conditioning and Running Mechanics
This filled up most of the opening hour.
After the stretches and warm ups, Lachlan Wilmot had the players maintaining their running form over the small hurdles. It’s interesting to observe the change in running style with certain players. Undoubtedly there are individuals who have adapted faster than others, and to my eye, the differences seemed exaggerated over the hurdles.
Techniques to strengthen leg drive and lateral movement were then drilled before the running was broken up with a variation of handball called spike ball – a game that is apparently quite popular. It seems to have elements of volleyball with plenty of movement, innovations and laughs featured. I intend getting some insight about the purpose, if not the rules, of this game.
Maintaining running balance was then introduced. With their arms taken out of play through carrying sticks above their heads, the fellas find balance without their “wings” – something that you see in some of the finest runners of the football such as Greg Inglis or Tom Trbojevic.
Next on the agenda was the series of 50 metre and 100 metre sprints. To my eye, this was equally running mechanics and conditioning. With sprint upon sprint the order of the day, there was little respite for the group. That said, the expectation appeared to be more about maintaining their form and less about pace. Over 50 metres the players accelerate for the first 10m, maintain pace for 30, then decelerate for the final 10. Reed Mahoney continued to impress and Will Smith stood out as a natural athlete.
For the final half hour, the players transitioned into the ball work component of the session. Set up down a narrow corridor inside the quarter, the group worked short side plays aiming to engage the defence and open up space. This was followed up by running plays on a quarter field. Bevan French impressed with both his hands and his acceleration through gaps.
The stand out from the players “extras” belonged to Kaysa Pritchard, Cam King and Reed Mahoney. These three working together on their dummy half skills is a regular feature. Although there’s obviously an expectation that the players in the same position would work on their skills as a group, these blokes genuinely help each other. Further to that, Reed Mahoney is receiving a tremendous education from two players that he will theoretically be competing with in the near future.
It’s extraordinary to think that whilst I was watching the squad going through their paces, I was completely oblivious to the announcements surrounding Jarryd Hayne. It was not till I checked my text messages and listened to the news in my car, that I became aware of what had gone down during the morning.
For the Eels players and staff, staying out of conjecture and focussing on business as usual is the order of the day. With or without Hayne, competition for places in a team on the rise will be a new challenge. It’s not so long ago that there were few “good headaches” suffered by BA when it came to selecting his NRL team.
Times are changing.
Its off to the Territory next week for the Eels. Any NT readers, feel free to keep us informed!
Much appreciate with the report 60’s as usual. Doesn’t seem much to Reed Mahoney size wise but seems to have muscle on his belly fat. Being young that’s acceptable and he looks very enthusiastic in the photo compared to the other three. Read on the eels web site that there will be a trial against the Nights at Maitland showground next Feb, looks like I will get to see the eels at the first game of next season. What I am finding with these training reports is there is a lot of variations to the various themes which certainly keeps… Read more »
Reed is doing everything in his power to take full advantage of this pre-season.
Plenty of trials over summer Colin, especially junior reps.
I’m of the opinion that should Jarryd return, he’ll finish his career with a legacy restored.
Having moved a few months back and around 8 minutes from the Maitland sports ground makes this an easy match for me.
If the junior reps games/trials were held up here or on the Central Coast, I would get to those as well.
I think they’ll be likely to play a round up there. At least they did last year.
He is only a little fella. I have seen him play a few times and I did not realise he was that small. I think he plays above his weight
Thanks Chief. Seeing the differences every pre-season and how the preparation evolves each year, esp how well the players buy in, is interesting stuff. And every pre-season, somebody stands out. Last year it was Browny, and he followed it up on the field. I wonder who it will be this year.
Love reading the blogs too…Much appreciated..
We’ll have to talk in the new year about more memorabilia posts mate.
I’m back, well i have to be, the off season training reports are up!
I wait with anticipation to see how Hayne trains and hope that he is often last off the training paddock. The combination of him and Moses really could be something quite special.
Hayne has never played with such quality around him (except in Origin or Aussie teams). Bring it on.
Great write up again Sixties – really looking forward to JH returning. It will be great to see how the team is reconfigured to fit him in. I think Taka may have to join the forwards as a second rower.
Cheers Walpy. Taka possesses both the size and skills needed to transition into a forwards role. If that’s the path chosen, let’s hope he has the desire.
Thanks Sixties, I knew something was missing in my life and had no obvious reason for it. Then I realised after reading this training report. Yep it’s Sixties training reports that I hunger for in the off season, just as Grunta said. In reading the reports I appreciate the simplicity in expressed in the detail of what 30 or more players and training staff have engaged in which Sixties is able to reproduce in print. I’ve actually been to training with Sixties on quite a few occasions in past off seasons and I thought I really understood what was going.… Read more »
Thanks Rowdy. I think I should be paying you as my PR manager after those words. As you know mate, I’m simply a passionate supporter, just like you and just like the tens of thousands of passionate Eels supporters out there. For me, watching training would be akin to watching the track work of horses. You get a sense from preparation about how the team will perform. I think we’re fortunate to have a football department that value the importance of supporters. It would be all too easy to prepare behind closed doors, and though regular training sessions aren’t opportunities… Read more »
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