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Author Topic: Brendan McCartney's updates  (Read 481 times)
Barra13
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El Paso Pioneers

« on: January 23, 2017, 11:17:51 AM »

Angus Brayshaw
Angus learned a lot from his first two years around preparation and application. Combine that with prodigious talent, he’s really primed to play some great footy for the club this year. He is showing regular glimpses of intensity, hardness and pure football brilliance. He has a very bright future.

Tom Bugg
Tom trained very, very well pre-Christmas. He showed some great signs last year and then had some inconsistent patches. He’s really committed to overcoming those inconsistencies with great preparation and he’s given himself every chance to have a really good year of footy. His best is very good.

Lochie Filipovic
He’s a lovely young man who has an infectious smile and you can already see a drive and intensity to learn and get better. Now that we’re back from our Christmas break, we’ll find out more about him in the coming weeks football wise, because he’ll drift into the main group. Pre-Christmas, he was in rehab and just working on building his body and overcoming a couple of setbacks that he carried though the end of the year. He’s a fine young fella.

Sam Frost

Frosty’s definitely developed his game from last year. He’s learning quite quickly about the game – where to position himself, when to attack the footy and when to position himself somewhere else. The aim is to settle him down in defence like we did last year and keep playing him there. We want him to keep forming a good partnership with Tom and Oscar McDonald. He’s a freakish athlete and when you mix that with some improved fundamentals, the end product will be pretty good.

Colin Garland
Col had a difficult 2016. He’s knuckled down to his training and he’s doing everything very well. He has a lot of talent, but the team is entering a phase where spots for competition are very competitive, so everyone is going to need to play well to ensure they get their spot, which is good.

Jeff Garlett
Jeffy is Jeffy – he’s lightning quick. He consistency reminds you of his brilliance and his ability to create something out of nothing. For us, we feel Jeff will benefit from further development in Dean Kent, Jay Kennedy-Harris and Ben Kennedy, so we’re not just reliant on Jeff to open up our forward line and create those magical opportunities – it’ll be four or five doing it. We’re really confident of a good season from Jeff.

Max Gawn
He continues to apply himself and look forward – Max is always looking to get better, which is a credit to him. He’s still a young ruckman, in terms of games played, game sense and years played. Max has a body that is close to being developed, but still has developing to do and he has some opportunities to improve. Max has not only become a great ruckman, but a fantastic player and bloke to have around the club. He’s an important part of the fabric around the playing group.

Mitch Hannan

We didn’t have a good look at Mitch pre-Christmas because he was recovering from a shoulder injury. His recruiting tapes were very good and he’s a high quality person with a lot of drive to get better. He’s already shown a willingness to work his way through the grade, which is a big tick. It shows an application and commitment, but he’s also disciplined off the field and has worked hard to build a career, so the person package is very good. Mitch has undoubted talent, which we saw in the VFL finals, so we’re looking forward to seeing him get out there this year.

James Harmes
James continues to develop. He continues to get a bit fitter, faster and stronger, and learn more about the game. James has become a real student of the game and a hard worker, so it’s full credit to him. It’s probably the key thing that is driving his career. It’s allowing some really good natural talents to flourish.

Michael Hibberd
Michael has fitted in very well. He had a sluggish start, through our choice. We reacquainted him to football in a safe way, with straight line running in a controlled environment and we didn’t put him straight back into the drills. When we did put him back in the drills pre-Christmas, he took to it like a duck to water. There are some similarities, with what he’s been taught here and what it was at Essendon, given the Simon Goodwin connection. A lot of what we’re talking about isn’t foreign to him. He’s been able to pick it up quite quickly.

Jesse Hogan

He’s been a standout – and credit to him. Jesse came back to training from the off-season in incredible shape and he’s dealing with every drill very well. Whatever drill he’s been in, he’s getting to the stage where he is pivotal in it, which is a sure sign that his overall game is growing. He’s a competitive young man and has a drive to take this club forward.

Liam Hulett
Huey had a long year in 2016 because of the VFL finals, which was good for him. Like a lot of tall players, he’s still developing his body and his conditioning base. He has some really good natural tendencies – his marking and kicking are high quality. As he deals with the game more, he’ll be able to run at the level required and turn into a pretty good player.

Jayden Hunt
He returned from the off-season break far from satisfied from a real breakout year. Jayden made it pretty clear to us that he wanted to actually ‘go again’ and improve again. He has done that so far in training. Jayden has a real appetite to be successful and a real appetite to play in a great team.

Neville Jetta
It’s been a really good summer from Neville. He trained incredibly hard during the off-season break and has given himself every opportunity. He’s now part of a really competitive group of mid-sized defenders/wingers, so he’s up for the challenge of winning his spot and keeping his spot. He’s always been a gentleman and he’s still a gentleman, and he’s highly-respected in our footy club.

Dion Johnstone
Dion is a new arrival to the club and has very quick feet and loves getting right in the middle of all the action. He’s clearly going to be a tough, competitive little player and the recruiters were excited to call his name out. He’s got some attributes that certainly help you move the footy. Dion’s fiercely competitive and is strong on the ball.

Nathan Jones
He’s a credit to himself. Every year, Nathan comes back from the off-season and post-Christmas period in great shape. He’s learning some new positions and learning some different ways of doing things. Nathan’s doing everything right to have another great year. He’s been ultra-consistent for a long time and I’ve got no doubt he will be again in 2017.

Declan Keilty
Declan’s a rookie from Casey, so he understands our system somewhat. He’s played under a similar system under Justin Plapp at Casey and spent some time with us last Christmas/New Year in 2015/16. We liked the improvement in him during that period and we’ve been watching him closely at Casey, given our alignment and with Melbourne coaches in regular attendance. He’s a good size and athlete, and looks like he’s got the attributes to become a good player.

Ben Kennedy
Ben’s had a good summer. He knows that there are quite a few people fighting for one of those two or three positions, so he’s aware of that. He’s working really hard on all aspects of his game to be the best he can be. His application has been first class.

Jay Kennedy-Harris
He was in rehab pre-Christmas, so we’ve taken a really precautionary model with Jay, given his hamstring reoccurrences. The summer has been about getting him stronger, and getting his back and general body strength up to protect the hamstrings. He showed some really positive signs towards the backend of the VFL season last year. Jay played in a way that the modern game has gone. He’s now very clear on what he needs to work on and the type of player he wants to be.

Dean Kent
Kenty has still got that scintillating speed and game breaking tendencies. He’s a year older now and maturing. We think we’ve got a really good player, who will drive some elements of our game style better than anyone. He’s on his way.

Mitch King
Mitch is still recovering from his knee injury. The focus is on his footwork, agility, acceleration and fundamentals. He’s still in that shorter term phase where he’s not ready for full contact yet – jumping and landing, so we’re maximising his time to build the basics of his game.

Jordan Lewis
His training standards are elite. He understands the game and understands what’s required. Jordan can almost watch training like a coach and provide feedback. Not only has he been fantastic for the club, we’ve seen him really revel in being here and having a high level of enjoyment. That can’t be easy, when you’ve left a club that’s been a big part of your life for a long time. He’s clearly loving every minute of being here, which is a credit to Simon Goodwin, the rest of the coaches and his teammates and the whole club.

Heritier Lumumba
Note: Lumumba announced his retirement from the AFL pre-Christmas.

Corey Maynard
Corey is a boy with a basketball background. He is now a category B rookie. He’s got a lot of athleticism and athletic ability, and has a high work rate. We’re seeing gains in his football nous and football craft quite quickly. The key is to manage his body, so he gets used to football, which is obviously a different sport to basketball. We know that if we can keep him out there – training and playing games, that’s when he’ll learn the most. Educating him into what AFL footy is has been high on the list.

Oscar McDonald
Oscar has really emerged again. We all saw really good snippets of Oscar’s progression last year. He’s bigger and stronger again, and has the capacity to run and still carry it. Oscar’s on the verge of becoming a very good player.

Tom McDonald
Tom was in rehab pre-Christmas, so it’s given us a great opportunity for him to spend a lot time around some young players in rehab and get to know them, which is not always easy, when you’re an older guy. It’s been good for him that way. It’s also been good for him to work on some basics and fundamentals of the game, which he’s identified that he wants to be better at. He’s maturing into a really good club person.

Pat McKenna
Pat’s just come into the club, but it looks like he’s been here all of his life. He’s always smiling and is friendly. He knows what to do. He owns his own day. He comes to work and gets things done. We’re noticing him more and more in training drills, where he’s picking up on how we do things. He’s bobbing up with the ball in dangerous spots and using it very well.

Jake Melksham
He’s trained really well – right through the slow start, when we were being conservative with him, after a year out of the game. We managed his training for a while, but since we’ve let him go – he’s shown he’s a quality AFL player. He’s probably got some attributes that will really add to us.

Alex Neal-Bullen
Alex came back from the post-season break fitter and stronger – and more dynamic. He’s into this third season now, so he’s more confident in himself. He showed great signs in the VFL last year, where he dominated games and had some mixed success at AFL level. He’s built a little model of how he wants to play, with the help of the coaching group. He’s working towards having the body and the tank to be able to deliver that.

Clayton Oliver
Clayton’s a high talent and as the summer’s unfolded, you notice him more and more in drills at training. His ground play and ability to extract the ball are quite extraordinary for a young player. At the moment, we’re just adding different levels of fitness to him and some education around what to do when he’s not near the ball. By gee, when he’s near the ball – look out! He wins it more often than not.

Cameron Pedersen
Cam had shoulder surgery at the end of the last season and was just starting to get into full training pre-Christmas. Cam will be Cam – he brings experience and a strong body in a young forward group. I’m sure he’ll play a valuable role through 2017.

Christian Petracca
He’s just showing a great zest and love of the game. Christian has some incredibly exciting things in his play, particularly his power. We’re most enjoying that he’s still quite raw in a footy sense because he’s missed a bit of footy. He just played with that flair and carefree approach, which is a great way to play. We’re not trying to bind that up too much – we’re just trying to find a little bit of balance with it. He’s going to be a lot of fun to watch.

Christian Salem
He’s been terrific this summer. Christian arrived back from his post-season break very fit. You just see him at training at times and his pure class comes out. All Melbourne people have seen enough snippets of Christian at his best to know that we’ve got a special young player on our hands.

Joel Smith
Joel is a good story. He’s the son of Shaun, who played for North Melbourne and then Melbourne. Joel comes from a basketball background and is a category B rookie. I won’t say that he came close, but he came into consideration to play in the AFL late last year, after some really good, solid form in the VFL. He’s just got something about him that draws you to him – the way he moves and the way he changes direction and the way he can jump straight up. He catches your eye.

Tim Smith
Tim’s a great story. We’re thrilled to be able to pick him up. He’s a self-made man and a self-made player. At this age, the fact that he’s had to invest so much into having an AFL career will stand him in really good stead. It means a lot to him and we think he’ll fight pretty hard for his spot. Our fans are going to enjoy his marking and his attack on the ball, along with his aggression.

Jake Spencer
He’s taken real steps forward this summer. It was difficult for Jake to find his way into the team last year, with Max’s fantastic year. He’s part of a ruck group that’s driven to help each other get better. I’ve seen him mature mentally over the break and get his head around what it takes – and what he needs to do to get a good crack at it.

Billy Stretch
He’s a pro in every sense of the word. Billy has built himself up over the summer. He’s very, very aware and is a clear thinker on what his strengths are and what his weaknesses are. He doesn’t overplay his weaknesses, but he doesn’t neglect them or avoid them. He works on them. Billy’s one of a big batch of kids who have shown all the right behaviours and appetite around work to have a good career and build themselves up.

Jack Trengove
Trenners had a slow start to the pre-season, as he carried a different injury through the back part of the 2016 VFL season. He just came back into training before Christmas, but he’s still the same resilient, tough person we’ve come to know. He’s dealt with a lot, but the focus with him has been on some areas of his game around his footwork, agility and his ability to win the ball in tight. We’ll keep doing that with him. But he’s not hard to work with – he’s such a high-quality lad.

Dom Tyson
He’s really come on again. His running, his understanding of the game and where he positions himself – he’s become pretty close to an elite, first possession player. He’s very good around the ball and distributes it well. I think you’re going to see an incredible young player emerge in the next one to two years. Dom had an unfortunate setback just before Christmas, but he’s attacking his rehab in the same intensity as his pre-season.

Aaron vandenBerg
He was in rehab pre-Christmas after having post-season surgery. He started training just before Christmas. He’s a really driven young bloke, who got a chance later in life through the non-traditional channels and he’s aware of that. But he’s also very confident in his own ability and we love that about him. He’s tough, strong at the ball and knows what he wants. His best footy often coincides with our best footy.

Bernie Vince
His 2016 season tailed off a little bit and I know he came back hellbent on building his footy right back up to what it was the year before – and we know he will. He’s still got some life left in him yet. Bernie’s been full energy and engagement at training and he’s doing everything 100 miles an hour, which is a great credit to him.

Jack Viney
Jack had a slow start to the pre-season, due to injury. But the first day he got back, you could hear the whack in the contest. The contest area had a real intensity about it when Jack was back in there, so he’s been managed a bit. He’s a high talent and has a high love of the club. The way he spoke about the club – and the people in it – after winning last year’s best and fairest sums up Jack the person. Through the family connection, there is no player more invested and committed to driving Melbourne up the ladder than Jack.

Josh Wagner
Wags has progressed and developed his body again. He had some little niggling injuries just before Christmas, but worked really diligently over the post-season break and came back stronger and more physical. We believe he showed what he’d become in the first half of last season, but then he hit some fatigue in the second half of 2016. He had some niggling injuries in the latter part of last season, but he’s a good young AFL player.

Jack Watts
Jack’s really keen to build on – I’m not sure it was a breakout year – but a turning point in his career. He has a great love for his teammates and loves the team environment and brings a real energy to what we do here every day at the footy club. Our feeling is that we haven’t seen the best of Jack yet, but it’s close. His commitment – and our commitment to Jack – is that what he showed last year becomes the norm this year and that is that he’s ‘thereabouts’ every game.

Sam Weideman
Sam has filled out nicely again. There is still some development to go with Sam, but it’s pretty clear that you could see his football talent in the first couple of games he played. He did run into some strong opponents on very difficult days, when we didn’t play our best footy, but he’s got a real drive to get better. He’s competitive and for a young forward, he’s not afraid to put his body in, which is a great quality in a young player. We’ll set him up for a fantastic career.

Mitch White
Mitch has improved again. He’s showed progressive signs again, playing at Casey. Mitch is really clear about what he wants to be and how he’s going to get there. He’s one of a batch of medium-sized defenders, who we’ve got quite a few of, and he deserves to make it, because he invests and gives. Mitch is a hard-worker and prepares well. He does everything to the best of his ability and he’s a good young fella.
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Purple 77
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Oh, my.

« Reply #1 on: January 23, 2017, 08:18:13 PM »

They've been a pleasure to read these ones, because you can translate the subtleties of his comments into where the player is at.

I've enjoyed the discussion at Demonland on these... the ones I remember are, purely on McCartney's comments are:

 - Garland is definitely VFL destined
 - Hogan & Brayshaw are in for a ripper
 - McCartney definitely has a man-crush on Oliver; this can be read from some notes in the Demonland training threads too
 - Stretch is the coaches pet
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