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Best of the 2009 preseason training photos

Preseason training photos

Where would our offseason be without the hardcore fans who rock up at ungodly hours of the morning to windswept, sleet-driven suburban footy grounds to see their boys work off the holiday kilos? We’d be a lot less informed, that’s where. Plenty of these hardy souls also take along their digital cameras, so let’s look through the galleries for the most revealing snapshots.

We’ll start with the picture that has caused a bit of furore already, with radio 5AA in Adelaide talking about it a week ago. Graham Johncock was caught at just the wrong angle with his breath in, leading to this unkind shot.

Graham Johncock

Lest I be accused of picking on the Crows – their fans are arguably the most fastidious when it comes to covering training, with some even taping the sessions to upload to YouTube – I was most impressed by this shot of Brent Reilly, which showed off his muscle tone at just the right moment.

Brent Reilly

Now then, just to get the taste of Christmas ham right out of our mouths, let’s go to the other extreme and look at a kid who needs about ten turkeys shoved down his gob to bulk him up. I speak of Christian Bock, who was rookied by the Bombers this year, and could do with about four years in the gym sucking protein shakes.

Christian Bock

No seriously, I’m not picking on him! I’m sure he’ll be a fine player if his legs don’t snap like twigs. He’s obviously from the Damien Peverill School Of Eyebrow Grooming. Hmm, maybe I am picking on him.

Let’s move onto something more positive down at Windy Hill, which is Scott Gumbleton. This picture shows pretty starkly the difference in height between Gumby at 197cm on the right and Scott Lucas at 192cm on the left. According to the last figures, Lucas still has Gumby covered in weight by 6 kilos, 96kg to 90, though is that a teensy bit of flab I see on Lucas’ left bicep? Nah, must be a trick of the light.

Scott Lucas and Scott Gumbleton

As a point of reference, here’s Lucas and the fourth pillar in the freshly built Gumby’s Box, Jay Neagle.

Scott Lucas and Jay Neagle

Hmm, these pics are starting to look like those old ones of the ape evolving into man. Let’s move over to the Lexus Centre, where Alan Didak seems to have lost no fitness after his early finish to the 2008 season.

Alan Didak

Over at Punt Road there have been plenty of cameras whirring away, not just by fans. Here’s a pic featuring a player I’d like to know more about, if only to find out why you coaches out there seem to like him so much. That’s Alex Rance second from left in this photo, who despite my repeated attacks on his character still remains stubbornly popular in plan teams, albeit at a reduced level of picks. Okay, so I can see the boyish good looks, but he’s not a bagful of walnuts, now is he? From left it’s Cleve Hughes, Rance, Shane Edwards, David Gourdis and Dean Putt.

Cleve Hughes, Alex Rance, Shane Edwards, David Gourdis and Dean Putt

Speaking of good looks, I like the amount of muscle definition that the Tigers kids are showing at this early stage. This shot shows Daniel Jackson leading home Brett Deledio and Jarrad Oakley-Nicholls in a sprint. Not a bit of flab on any of those biceps.

Daniel Jackson, Brett Deledio and Jarrad Oakley-Nicholls

If you think that’s okay, Port Adelaide will go you one better. Chad Cornes may have been struggling slightly after multiple off-season surgeries, but that time off his feet has obviously been spent in the weight room as this shot shows.

Chad Cornes

This Cameron Falloon bloke that they’re all raving about down at Port is having an obvious effect as the new fitness coach. Here’s Danyle Pearce, who has never been this buff.

Danyle Pearce

And here’s the one all you fantasy coaches want to see, apparently: Travis Boak.

Danyle Pearce

At this rate we may be talking in three months’ time about the Falloon Balloon, as somehow he seems to have got a bike pump connected somewhere on these blokes and pumped their muscles up, Popeye-style. Must be some good spinach down there.

For fantasy coaches who are spending their preseason combing reams of statistics, it’s always refreshing to sit back and just look at how some players have progressed physically. If you’ve seen some particularly good training photos posted by fans, let me know in the comments.



  1. Virgil

    January 12, 2009 at 12:14 am

    Is that Nathan Brown at the very back of that Richmond running group m0nty? Kinda hard to tell, but it looks like him.

    Also, you’ve gone soft on Johncock m0nty, don’t let those Adelaide fans push you around ;).

  2. Athomas

    January 12, 2009 at 12:17 am

    Nice work. Gumbleton looks pretty fit. Might be worth the gamble.

  3. m0nty

    January 12, 2009 at 12:18 am

    Yeah, that looks like NGB, Virgil. Also it should be pointed out that while JON was photographed up the front of this particular sprint, the photo was taken halfway through and he ended up trailing the field. 😀

  4. Virgil

    January 12, 2009 at 12:20 am

    Cheers m0nty.

  5. Max

    January 12, 2009 at 12:24 am

    Wow Boak is huge now he use to be a twig last season good to see. Gumby you star hopefully he has a big season this year for the mighty dons.

  6. dylan

    January 12, 2009 at 3:08 am

    yeah monty the crows training report for the 8th has a good one of walker going for a screamer(pitty he did not take it), on page 2

  7. Chad

    January 12, 2009 at 8:32 am

    All well and good, an question that i will throw up is, is the extra muscle a good thing for DT? How will this improve their ability to get points? does it make them more or less durable?

  8. elliot

    January 12, 2009 at 10:45 am

    From the sessions I’ve been to Tambling has put on quite a bit of muscle
    As has Jack Riewoldt
    and Deledio’s size is also very impressive

  9. Virgil

    January 12, 2009 at 1:08 pm

    Chad, physical strength can help a player’s DT scores considerably. A strong player is more likely to ‘stick’ their tackles, they’re more likely to break out of the tackles of others, and they’ll have greater marking ability in one-on-one contests, to name a few things.

    Durability compared to muscle mass is an interesting one. Paul Medhurst got as heavy as 94kg at Fremantle (far too big for a player of his size), and he said it didn’t help his playing style at all and led to a few niggles. Generally speaking though, increased strength is a good thing.

  10. Brendan

    January 12, 2009 at 9:29 pm

    F*cken Port and their mankinis.

  11. XztatiK

    January 16, 2009 at 4:02 pm

    Lol Brendan.

    When I first saw Stiffy at training yesterday I thought he was just a trainer or something, joining in the footy work. He has always been a bit pudgy but that shot is shocking.

    Radar Reilly looks fantastic though – he’s blitzing all the endurance trials too.

    Christian Bock looks like Paris Hilton crossed with John Howard.

    Any shots of Kane Cornes out there? He is looking more and more like Chad every day. In fact, I wouldn’t be suprised if that shot of Chad IS Kane.

  12. Porps_is_HOT_loz

    January 18, 2009 at 9:47 pm

    Brent Rielly may be one of the buys of the year, he won trainer of the week this week which is strange, but apparently they gave it to him because he is training so well.

    Also Boak looks great, along with Lids.

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