The Cumberland Throw

Eels Pre-Season Training – November 11, 2019: Hello. Hello. It’s Good To Be Back!

Off season?

What off season!

There’s certainly no rest for the wicked on TCT. But when it comes to NRL footballers, it’s an eight week break and then the pre-season kicks in with all the good stuff, like conditioning runs.

Blocker Roach once famously said that he didn’t see the point in 400 metre runs as he’d never scored a 400 metre try in his life. Nobody had!

We can all nod and smile at the every-man logic of an old school footballer, but there’s no escaping the truth that rugby league remains a physical contest, and holding an advantage in conditioning goes a decent way towards winning the contest.

http://www.starrpartners.com.au/office/starr-partners-narellanHow will the Eels shape up?

There are significant staffing changes to the athletic performance department that directly impact the pre-season.

Adrian Jimenez and Lachlan Wilmot have both moved on.

Lachie’s departure was expected as he was planning to take on a new business venture. He’s a thorough professional, and a good bloke. My knowledge of the sports science involved in professional sport, including “prehabilitation”, has certainly been enhanced through the time that he afforded me at training. We all wish him well.

Fortunately, Brendan Inkster was already on staff and he’s stepped up to take on the Head of Athletic Performance role.

Adrian Jimenez has moved to a role with the Dragons.

When I first found out about his departure just after the season ended, I had my concerns. Cuzzy was a hard nosed, hard working, strength and conditioning coach. He delivered results. Adjusting to losing both he and Lachie would be a challenge. After all, the 2019 season saw a very healthy squad for most of the season, and only one player in the top 30 was unavailable during the finals series.

However, the acquisition of Trent Elkin allayed my concerns, and after watching the first field session today, I’m convinced that we’ll continue to see quality outcomes for the players.

And so to today.

The post season representative schedule means that there are NRL players yet to begin their annual break. Consequently, all clubs will have some players who will be late starters to the pre-season. Parra will be no exception.

In today’s group of about 14 players, Andrew Davey was by far the oldest. RCG was out on the field but was not involved in the conditioning work that I observed. Those with NRL experience included Ray Stone, Oregon Kaufusi, Jaeman Salmon and Ethan Parry. Otherwise, this was a rookie group.

As expected, there was a strong conditioning component to this morning’s work.

The players ran a variety of distances, up to 1.2km. Without giving details, the mental aspect was delivered in messages to the players. I’ve previously written that the next step in the team’s development was all about what happens between the ears, so that was sweet music to me.

Surprisingly, today’s group was straight into ball work, with shapes run off the play-the-ball being the focus. This was taken further when the team went to extras – footballs were everywhere.

Catching The Eye

The hard slog begins.

Though the entire group had arrived back in tremendous shape, Stefano Utoikamanu and Oregon Kaufusi impressed as two big blokes physically ready to take on the hard yards.

Kyle Schneider has added size to his frame since this time last year. Given that he’s gained at least 12 to 14 kg of muscle, it was not surprising for this to be noticed.

The new faces included Dave Hollis, Sam Hughes, Harry Duggan and Johnny Fonua.

The group was rounded out by Haze Dunster and Rhys Davies.

Final Note

I enjoyed the positivity of Day 1. We were welcomed back by staff such as Craig, Mick, Murf and BA. Though the rigours of the work was etched on the players’s faces, the smiles of the footy staff told the story of the day.

Only four months till kick-off!

Eels forever!

Sixties

 

Images courtesy of Eels media

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John Eel
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John Eel

Can’t believe they are at it again already. Great to hear from you again Sixties: Good to see some of the young players out there. That is a lot of weight for Schneider to put on. Must have had a growth spurt and pumped a bit of iron.

Interested to watch Hollis and Hughes. Didn’t they play in an SG Ball trial recently. There was another forward we recruited from Toowoomba earlier this year. Forgotten his name but any word on him

Colin Good
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Colin Good

That Queensland was Isaiah Vailala a17 year old

John Eel
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John Eel

Thanks for that. Sounds like the player I was thinking about.

Good work by Kyle

Colin Hussey
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Colin Hussey

AHH! Pre-season, greetings and welcome back. Thanks sixties for edition 1 of the 2020 season ahead, brief but exciting really, as the team begins to go a ladder position higher. A special welcome to RCG to the eels, go well and put the doubters to shame big fella. I have to agree with you regarding the loss of the two trainers, and I know you often mentioned and spoke highly of Lachlan Wilmont during his tenure but trust he attains to the next level he’s seeking, but when I read of Adrian’s move to the dragons I have to admit… Read more »

Anonymous
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Anonymous

Come on col , you always end with a negative. Last to 5th must have improved somewhere, and defence was part of that !!!

Colin Hussey
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Colin Hussey

Anon, I would suggest you have a check in the mirror in regard to your comment.

I don’t always end with a negative, but like everyone we all have opinions, or views. While I agree with what 60’s said in reply, my comment regarding the defence is in a small way similar to what sixties said regarding unfortunate scores.

If you take out what I said regarding my thoughts on the defence, I think I have been quite positive overall,

Michael Formosa
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Michael Formosa

Hard to believe Sivo played his last game for the year last Saturday night and some of the boys have started preseason. You described Adrian Jimenez as “hard nosed, hard working, strength and conditioning coach and he delivered results” how would you describe Trent Elkin ? I know this might be hard after one session.

John Eel
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John Eel

When do they head out to Kellyville?

HamSammich
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HamSammich

Would you know if any “Malcoms” are on the conditioning program?

Anonymous
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Anonymous

whatsa malcolm?

Milo
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Milo

They were for me shuttle runs up to the 10 m and then back to tryline; then run to 20 m and then back try line….all the way through to the 30 m, 40 m and all the way in 10 m increments up to the 100 m or try line and then running back to goal line before a final run to the try line again. From memory when i did them yrs ago they were about 1200 m or so in total distance – we did them half pace working up to sprints by the end and recovery… Read more »

Milo
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Milo

Thanks Sixties. I am lapping this up so thank you.
Backrow depth for me will be interesting and hooker too.
Do we know who the development players are? Or will they be named at a later date?
Also from my recollection we have 26/27confirmed for top squad. Is this correct?
Have the staff added chairs for you and co for training?

John Eel
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John Eel

Milo I responded to your thoughts on the DH in the discussion…Eels sign Ryan Matterson. Don’t know if you agree.

Milo
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Milo

Thanks John and yes i always agree with you, even if i am questioning myself!

John Eel
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John Eel

lol

Colin Hussey
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Colin Hussey

Milo, looking at the eels team page there are 26 shown, assuming they are the contracted ones for next season, those who have left along with the development players are not shown. MJ is not shown so possible he still is to sign.

Milo
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Milo

Yes mate so i can only assume some will move up into the 30 and maybe some new signings.

Colin Hussey
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Colin Hussey

I just went through the training photo’s posted on the eels webb site, all the players looked in good physical condition to me, & of note and I could be wrong, but Stefano seems a bit trimmed but still looks a big person, Oregon seems to also be a bit different as well, Of the others, I think Ray Stone has put on a bit of weight and possibly muscled up as well. RCG looks in good condition, and he adds some size to the props for the upcoming season. Of the others Ethan Parry, and Andrew Davey also look… Read more »

Scott
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Scott

Good to hear about Schneider some more hopefully he’s in for a big season and he might be our answer for back up hooker which I’ve been wanting to see for the next season rather than signing from the super dry well of reggie hookers.

JonBoy
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JonBoy

Sixties…don’t put yourself down my friend. I have plenty of names for you but wicked is not one of them :-). However, no rest is certainly true. It does feel “kinda” odd having all the rep stuff just finishing and here we are starting to talk about Pre-Season already. I wish every year was the same!!!! Come on 2020!!!

BDon
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BDon

Welcome back sixties. Roosters, Raiders, Storm all showed what the mental side of NRL means, great to see you’ve got your eyes squarely on this one. No prizes for saying the right roster helps. To me, Matterson and RCG can play high tempo, impact games. Both agile between the ears and physically. They will compliment our pack, but also lift the bar, there’s a big gap to close on the 3 teams mentioned.