AFL clubs are back in pre-season training, which means plenty of SuperCoach news and rumours.
The Christmas break was an eventful one for some players but its down to business now with the NAB Challenge just a month away.
IT’S COMING! SUPERCOACH 2016 WILL BE LAUNCHED ON JANUARY 29.
It’s only the first week but there’s plenty of injury updates to keep SuperCoach aficionados and beginners alike enthralled.
We’ll continue to bring you the best news and track rumours as we count down to Round 1.
Don’t forget, if you were a 2015 SuperCoach Gold subscriber you can access the 2016 Team Picker now. So get picking!
The former No.2 draft pick suffered an injury setback over the Christmas break but it wasn’t his reconstructed knee. The young midfielder broke his toe playing basketball. It earned a swift rebuke from coach Paul Roos. “It’s a harsh lesson for Christian, but one we are sure he is going to learn from as he develops as an AFL player,” he said.
Essendon star Dyson Heppell is still dealing with soreness, according to coach John Worsfold. The midfielder will be eased back into pre-season training. “Hepp has just carried a bit of soreness from last year so we’re just resting him a little bit more,” Worsfold said. “Now, as Hepp builds up his training, we’ll hope that it’s resolved. We don’t think it’ll impact his season.”
A knee reconstruction meant Lever was eased into his first pre-season last year. However, not any more. Entering his second season the impressive Adelaide defender has been going flat out at training with the pain of missing the Crows’ two finals driving him to become a more permanent fixture in the club’s best 22 this season.
The former Eagle has impressed Suns coaches during his short time at the club. The midfielder has been recovering from an Achilles injury but is now back in full training. “He’s got a lot of experience, got a wealth of knowledge,” assistant coach Andy Lovell said. “He’s been a really valuable contributor for us out on the track with his voice and his direction.”
After having his left shoulder reconstructed last year, the young Kangaroo injured his right shoulder before Christmas. The defender avoided another reconstruction and hopes to be ready for action in time for Round 1.
The ruckman is looking to build on his breakout 2015 and has caught the eye of coach Paul Roos, who said Gawn has been one of the most “consistent” pre-season performers. With new interchange rules the big man has been working on playing forward, which could be a massive boost to his SuperCoach scoring potential.
A foot stress fracture ended Polec’s 2015 in Round 5 but the club has confirmed he’s back in full training. After a cautious approach pre-Christmas, the midfielder will take an important step forward in his recovery. “He won’t be doing everything but we expect him to be available from the first NAB game,” fitness coach Darren Burgess said.
It was reported before Christmas that the Brownlow Medallist would miss two months with a back injury but Fremantle dismissed those rumours. Instead, Fyfe was out training when the Dockers’ resumed pre-season training this week. While he is not back to full fitness at this stage, he is expected to be ready for the NAB Challenge and Round 1.
A Carlton supporter growing up, Casboult is excited by the challenge of being the Blues’ spearhead in 2016. Despite rumours the strong marking forward never considered leaving Ikon Park. Casboult has been working on his goalkicking and has declared he’s ready to be the Blues main man inside the forward 50m.
The Eagles’ recruit had a minor setback with his adductor injury, undergoing a “clean-up” operation in December. It keeps the former Lion in the rehab group but coach Adam Simpson was hopeful Redden would be available for the NAB Challenge. “I think we’re over the hump so hopefully he will be available for NAB (Challenge),” he said.
The former No.1 draft pick is turning heads at Giants training. The midfielder came fourth in the club’s time trial as he looks to push into the midfield on a more permanent basis. Adam Treloar’s defection to Collingwood could help there. Toby Greene – who is available as a midfield-forward in SuperCoach – also impressed, finishing sixth.
“If it means missing a couple of NAB games then so be it, I’ll just play when I can play.” Collingwood’s Queensland training camp was a frustrating one for Magpies swingman Goldsack as he continues to be hindered by a lingering knee injury. The recovery could mean he misses the NAB Challenge and will be behind the eight-ball come Round 1.
The Swans spearhead has impressed at training but Sydney general manager Tom Harley said Franklin was still managing his mental health issues. “It is (ongoing), absolutely,” he said. “He has been one of the really impressive ones on the track this week … he hasn’t missed a physical session.” Franklin had finger surgery last year but looks to be back in full training.
The inspirational Cat admits his knee is still an ongoing issue but is loving being involved in pre-season training. “It’s something that I hope is not with me for the rest of my career but it definitely will be for the next year,” he said. It’s not such great news for teammate Billie Smedts who will undergo a shoulder reconstruction and be out until May.
AND OF COURSE … GARY ABLETT
The little master married his partner Jordan Papalia during the Christmas break and will take a couple of weeks off to enjoy his honeymoon. The Suns skipper will miss a small block of training but we don’t expect it to impact the super professional star’s 2016 preparations.
This story originally appeared on The Herald Sun website – http://www.heraldsun.com.au
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