The Cumberland Throw

Eels Pre-Season Training – November 2, 2018: Off And Running!

Hello torture, my old friend….

It’s November, and that means it’s time for the Eels pre-season training reports to kick in. And to clarify – these reports aren’t making comparisons to other clubs and their preparations. Every NRL squad will look to step up on the preparations from the previous year. (Read “toughest pre-season ever” etc). It goes with the territory of any fully professional team sport.

Dylan Brown – Watch this space.

The purpose of TCT’s reports is to keep Parra supporters up to date with the team’s pre-season.

And there’s already been plenty of attention given to the Eels’ return to work.

Listening to Brad Arthur’s media call on Thursday, it appears that there’ll be no excuses for players not being united in attitude, effort and execution. The word “relationships” was highlighted, and reading between the lines, I’d suggest that there were players who didn’t put the team first in 2018.

Ultimately, every player must be on the same page in the coming season.

That interpretation doesn’t require much elaboration for Eels supporters who’ll be demanding a quantum leap when it comes to the standard of the team in 2019.

For today, there’s a couple of things to get out of the way.

Jarryd Hayne was not in attendance. Both Michael Jennings and Peni Terepo have had representative duty and have not returned. Blake Ferguson was also absent. Michael Potter was working with one of the groups today.

Kyle Schneider is in his first NRL pre-season.

The first of the players, those younger ones new to the group, returned to Saleyards for orientation on Wednesday. Typical first day protocols followed when the rest of the squad assembled on Thursday. Fitness testing (beep tests) were then the order of the day before the players hit the fields for a few drills.

The heat really kicked in for my return to Saleyards today (Friday). Fortunately the work was conducted on the second field, meaning that those of us in attendance could watch from the shade of the shed.

Here’s a quick run down of Friday:

Haze Dunster impressed in the 1.2km run.

In a session that was primarily (though not exclusively) conditioning, Adrian Jimenez was the dominant voice. The coaches and high performance staff were all involved in the stations and drills, but Jimenez was barking the orders – demanding maximum effort. He laid down the law before the work began, then enforced the standards from there on.

The conditioning began with up and back intervals, with very little respite between sets. Any stragglers ate into their moments of rest before the next set began.

After this period of running the squad was divided into three for rotation between skills stations.
Group 1 – defence line movement
Group 2 – up/down defence into loose ball recovery and play the ball
Group 3 – ball skills – speed of hands

The entire squad then worked on marker drills. It’s obvious that the coaches are looking for a big improvement around the ruck.

The session finished with a 1.2km run. The squad was essentially split into forwards and backs.

The top finishers made for interesting reading:

Mannah – total professional

Backs/dummy halves
1st Gutho
2nd Dylan Brown
3rd Haze Dunster
4th Kyle Schneider
5th Reed Mahoney

1st Tim Mannah (a machine!)
2nd Salesi Fainga’a
3rd Danny Alvaro

After some final words from the coaching staff, the players launched into extras – the typical position specific passing, kicking, catching work. Quite often, this work is driven by the players themselves.

Next week the operation shifts off site to Armidale. The players will continue their conditioning and I suspect there might be something done for the locals out there. We can also infer that the camp would be designed to get that bonding happening, especially with all of the young players involved in this pre-season. There were about 9 players outside of the Top 28 involved in today’s session.

Training reports will resume when the squad returns to Saleyards.

Eels forever!



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43 thoughts on “Eels Pre-Season Training – November 2, 2018: Off And Running!

  1. Empty

    Nice opening line Sixties.
    Good to see that some of the youngsters are stepping up training wise going by those results, shows desire and attitude.
    Also breathed a sigh of relief when BA mentioned relationships. We seemed to have a United bond in 2017 which seemed to have vanished in 18. Glad it’s being addressed.
    Thanks for the report. Look forward to reading more in the future.

    1. sixties Post author

      You’re welcome Empty. Those tight team bonds of previous year’s certainly seemed to dissipate in 2018.
      The young blokes have made sure they were ready to deal with the conditioning work from the start. They’ve kept training over their off season..

  2. Milo

    Great work sixties and team; sounds like you needed a KB or two.
    In all seriousness the week away for parra will be good – re forge the bonds etc. we just hope by February or so the top 30 is well and truly sorted out.
    Great first up read today and thank you/

  3. Offside

    It will take a lot to get me pumped for nect year i don’t see a squad good enough to get away from the bottom no matter how tough a preseason we have.

  4. colin hussey

    Good early report sixties, it was hard trying to recognise some players in the eels squad photo’s on their web page, thing is I liked it as new faces and hopefully youthful exuberance and a lot of energy may be just the tonic for the side, if not I guess AJ will be able to make his mark there.

    I like so far the way the eels web site has posted the names of those in both the main group and then a few in the development squad, add the announcements for the football staff being added makes for good reading as well.

    I noticed though that AJ’s name was not listed, would like to see if there are others who also have not been named.

    One thing for sure I am looking forward to next year as it just has a real positive feel to it, even though its very early days.

    1. sixties Post author

      Thanks Colin. I think anything that the club can do to clarify issues like squads and staffing will be beneficial. Supporters shouldn’t have to guess whether players are in the top squad, second tier or rookie contracts.
      I’m still of the belief that roster changes will eventuate.

  5. The rev aka Snedden

    Good write up. Stay hydrated out there lads it’s only going to get hotter. I’ll pray for you while you’re all in the sun getting us eels fans the good word.

    Good to see rip Taylor back n coaching the ISP boy’s. I think he will end up being a NRL coach 1 day I really do.

    On Mick “Harry” Potter I see that as a positive response from the club to sign him I think he will do well.

    I notice you said there’s a lot of young players in the squad but there’s 1 who is not in the top 30 Young reed Mahoney why is not in the top 30 instead his in the jr development system. Why is this ?

    Did we expect anything else from the King 👑 Clint Gutherson on beeb test. On the fowards young Daniel Alvaro will be 1 off the best again. I think he will go well coming off the bench replacing big JP. Well done Timmy mannah the 1st day back is always the hardest.

    I’m not going to talk about our recruitment on players yet. As I know we will loose some n gain some in the coming weeks it’s almost common practice these days.

    Anyhow I love reading your work lads keep it coming.


    1. sixties Post author

      Hi Rev and thanks. I could give my thoughts on the top 28 but I’d prefer not to right now. Contracts are tricky and lists are bound by the type of contracts players are on.
      Rip Taylor is a very solid appointment for ISP. He has the runs on the board there.
      Potter is an interesting appointment and his role should evolve as the season progresses.

  6. Burty

    Thanks for the info Sixties. Enjoy reading training blogs. On another note I really like the training gear the players are wearing is that the same blue as the 2018 jerseys if anyone knows.

    1. colin hussey

      From what I can see of the new training gear its very much an updated and more modern look than the daggy plain ones of last year which actually may have put a dent in their minds.

      Rather than just the single shade of black/blue of last year, there is now a lighter and more traditional royal blue colour that includes those vertical bands with shades of gold in there as well, it looks the goods.

      However, my thinking is that its also a mind set aspect to be rid of at least one of the areas of this year from their minds. BA mentioned in an interview that this season there was a different attitude through the team to that of the previous years, so ridding that from the training field helps with a new set of gear.

      Also, and I’m not sure about the non player number on them either. Having the numbers I think showed that they are part of our history/heritage.

      1. sixties Post author

        I like the player numbers too, though every NRL player in the squad has their photo in the gym/contact room, with their debut and player number.

  7. rowdy roddy

    Oh sixties, How good it’s ever been, just t’ see you again!
    I only read bits and pieces, but I’m really excited about our prospects this year. You have a way of bringing that out in us footy starved Parra fans. Will re-read the lot in the morning.
    Mate, I’m off to bed. I have a nice drive to Bathurst in the morning for a wedding in the afternoon. Great start to your/our preseason training reports.
    I can’t wait for next weeks reports. I suppose they’ve booked you into the Armidale Uni teachers Kips?

  8. Trouser Eel

    I notice you have a new sponsor. I’m glad to see the are businesses out there that see value in being associated with this website. You put out a positive, intelligent message, so I can understand why they’d want to.
    Congratulations Starr Partners Narellan.

    1. Greg Okladnikov

      Thanks Trouser Eel. I really appreciate the feedback for our 2 offices and our sponsorship involvement. As a lifelong Eels fan, I have enjoyed reading the posts each day / week, and you are right – it is positive/ insightful and analytical. Its why we made the decision to put some support behind it so that Mitch, Sixties and FortyTwenty can continue to provide us Parra fans with their insights, and the opportunity to have a forum for valid discussions and opinions.

      1. rowdy roddy

        Sounds like good, sane, fan infused support you’re bringing here Greg. But honestly there is some realistic perceptions expressed here of the quality and integrity that Starr Partners want to brand with. I’m sure there is some excellent opportunities for both parties in this wonderful partnership you’ve entered into with TCT. Thanks again for the financial sponsorship Greg. It is a truly encouraging action for TCT principles.

        1. Greg Okladnikov

          Thanks Rowdy Roddy….I agree. Thats why we are selective with where our partnership and support goes!! We are glad to be a part of it

  9. Poppa

    Congratulations to all you guys at TCT…..
    your product has now matured into the most successful of its type and the hard work you have put in is showing with your success over competitor sites.

    I look forward to your continued supply of Eels information and the impressive site management.

    1. sixties Post author

      John, it was a pleasure to meet you at the Novotel last night. And I was very impressed with you travelling from the Central Coast to vote. I’ll be mentioning this on my Twitter account. Say g’day to our other Central Coast Eels for me. It’s my second home up there.

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