Preseason Whispers II

Written by Motts on January 16 2016

Here are this week’s rumours and whispers hot off the training track.

RYAN GRIFFEN

After a self-described inconsistent season, Griffen has shed five kilograms ahead of his second season with GWS. The midfielder admitted he was overweight after moving from the Western Bulldogs. Despite playing 21 games – his most in one season since 2011 – Griffen was down on output. However, a stricter diet and training regimen has the smooth mover primed for a big 2016.

STEVE MOTLOP
Speaking of out of shape. Motlop conceded he was unfit when Geelong began it’s pre-season campaign in November. However, the Cats’ livewire believes he is now hitting his straps as the new season approaches and is ready for a leadership role on and off the field. Motlop has been working on his endurance during the pre-season as he looks to spend more time up the ground and through the midfield.

JACK TRENGOVE

The former Melbourne co-captain isn’t putting a timeframe on his return but is positive as he continues to ramp up his training load. Trengove returned to running in August last year after foot stress fractures threatened to end his career. “As cliche as it is, it really is a week to week sort of thing, even a day to day thing,” he said.

JOSH GREEN

The Brisbane Lions goalsneak will miss 10 weeks of training after scans discovered a stress fracture in his foot. Green was seen in a moon boot at Lions training and the club hoped it was just a hotspot that needed rest but it was not to be.

JEREMY HOWE

The new Magpie has also been struck down by a foot complaint but it is better news for him. Howe has been on light duties after reporting soreness in his right foot. Howe said in conversations with coach Nathan Buckley he was likely to split his time between half-forward and the wing in 2016.

WILL MINSON

Premiership ruckman and Dogs assistant coach Steven King believes Minson can have a big impact in 2016. While Jordan Roughead and Tom Campbell are also vying for the No.1 ruck role, King has backed Minson’s experience to see him through. “For him it’s just finding those triggers that get him up for those two hours a week. You’ve got to be at your competitive best,” King said.

CHARLIE DIXON

The Power recruit sent a scare through Alberton on Friday when he looked to injure his knee at training. The former Suns big man is set for a key role in the Port Adelaide line-up in 2016 after the loss of Paddy Ryder. However, positively, Dixon was soon back running – albeit in discomfort – and is not expected to miss any training.

DUSTIN MARTIN

After avoiding suspension for “chopstickgate”, Martin is free to play the NAB Challenge and face Carlton in Round 1. After such a lengthy off-field focus, the Tigers star should come out of the blocks breathing fire. While he’s not cheap, Martin has proven himself one of the most consistent SuperCoach scorers in recent seasons.

JACK REDDEN

After a adductor injury setback, Redden is still four to six weeks away from full training. However, the midfielder is desperate to face his former Brisbane Lions teammates in Round 1 and has been using his time to memorise the Eagles gameplan

NATHAN DRUMMOND
The youngster ruptured his ACL in his AFL debut in Round 4 last year, Drummond has been making steady progress. Drummond visited the US as he continues his recovery and has been running laps at training. The Tigers are impressed with his commitment but it is unclear when he will be cleared for a full return to training.

MITCH WALLIS

The return of Tom Liberatore as well as reduced interchange rotations could mean less midfield time for Mitch Wallis in 2016. The midfielder has been working on his “forward craft” at Bulldogs training ahead of the new season. “I’ll probably spend more time forward … hopefully kicking a few more goals and taking some marks on leads,” he said.

SAM DURDIN

The Kangaroos top draft pick from 2014 is making impressive progress after his debut season was cut short by a shoulder injury. After shoulder and foot surgery in 2015, Durdin is now back in full training and has been practising with the forwards. The 19-year-old hopes his versatility sees him making his AFL debut sooner rather than later.
This article first appeared in The Herald Sun. 

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5 thoughts on “Preseason Whispers II”

  1. Nice write up Motts, cheers.

    The whisper that Wallis has been spending some time learning a forward role makes me more confident to start Dahlhaus.

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  2. Great write up! Insight like this is very useful when planning your team. I’d love to take a put on Grif, but he just can’t handle a tag. Now that Martin has been given no ban he should be a lock in everyone’s team at F1. 13 tons last year, 8 of them over 120, with a top score of 151. His last three season averages read 101, 99.5, 105. After his off field issues he’s got a point to prove.

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