A quick-fire AFL round-up on injury news, new players and fantasy info ahead of what promises to be a huge 2018 AFL Premiership Season.
Wells fit and flying for the Pies
Daniel Wells preseason going well so far.
Wells played 10 games last year in his first year at Collingwood but was crucial to the Pies when he played.
Pies went 7-1-2 in the 10 games he played – well above the standard, they set for the rest of the year. His ball use and exit speed from the contest complimented the likes of Greenwood, Adams and Treloar nicely.
“He’s definitely had more training under his belt at this point this year than what he did at this point last year,” Collingwood Assistant Brenton Sanderson said.
Season-long AFL fantasy outlook for Wells is still shaky and at this stage we’re only considering him for DFS purposes.
Demons hard nut still battling foot issues
Demons inside-mid Jack Viney is having a frustrating, interrupted preseason – it is unlikely Viney will play much of a role in AFLX or JLT Demons matches with the focus already on the deadline of being fit for Round 1 against the Cats.
“Hopefully around the Maroochydore camp in late Jan I’ll be doing some solid running,” Viney told the club’s website.
“I’m probably not into the main group by then but if I can get a really solid block of conditioning in during that time then hopefully I’m back into some contact and doing some drills with the team around early February.
“I had my plantar fascia operated on after I partially tore that against Sydney halfway through the year,” Viney said.
“Coming back from that, five to six weeks down the track, I ended up getting a stress fracture in my third metatarsal so that’s what I’m trying to get back from now.
“There’s a few things to juggle around after having the surgery on my plantar fascia.
“The dynamics of my foot are a little bit different so I’m just adjusting to different loads going through different parts of it and I’m finally at a point now where I do feel like I’m progressing well and I don’t see too many hiccups along the way now.”
Rioli rehab ahead of schedule?
Daniel Rioli who Richmond FC Football Manager Neil Balme said in December was unlikely to be fit for Round 1 after ankle surgery was seen at Punt Road training this week.
Week 1 of 2018 is in the books pic.twitter.com/CqbgUls29P
— Richmond FC 🐯 (@Richmond_FC) January 12, 2018
Rioli’s fantasy value will likely be limited to DFS for Season 2018. The club will likely want a few more preseasons under the belt before the entertain the idea of running him through the midfield in spurts.
Cyril back at Glenferrie after compassionate leave
Dan’s Cousin Cyril is back from compassionate leave he took during Grand Final week to be with his father who suffered a heart attack.
A club representative told SEN on Wednesday morning that the club was always relaxed over Rioli’s absence.
“The dialogue with Cyril was open and honest right throughout,” Reeves said.
“We had Cyril’s welfare and Cyril’s family as the first priority.
“We knew Cyril was doing some training up north, and we were sort of happy with where Cyril was in his career that he would do the right thing.
“He came back in really good shape, the communication was constant, so that was fantastic.”
Schaping up for a position battle…
New recruit Josh Schache has been spending time in the ruck during Bulldogs preseason training as coach Luke Beveridge stresses flexibility in his players … expected to duke it out with Jack Redpath for that ‘pinch hitting’ ruck/forward role.
“In match simulation, I’ve been playing in the ruck and trying to develop that side of my game, so I’ve pretty much half and half between the ruck and up forward,” he said.
Lots happening down at the Cattery
Rookie recruit Stewart Crameri, coming off hip surgery while at the Western Bulldogs last year, has not yet integrated into the main group, nor has defender Lachie Henderson, who had two bouts of knee surgery prior to Christmas.
Meanwhile, the little maestro GAJ is showing no signs of age so far during Cats preseason
“I’m a bit like a little schoolboy that’s excited to play with a childhood hero and I think majority of our list is in the same boat,” Patrick Dangerfield said.
“I think he will spent some time in the forward line, but I think we will have the great man around the ball.”
Dangerfield said that Ablett – who turns 34 in May – is “going really well” so far over summer and he doesn’t look to have lost a step, despite entering his 17th season.
“He has been pretty good if he has lost something, because from what we have seen so far, he has been phenomenal,”
“I’m too scared to say he has lost anything because he has been better than anyone else on the track at the moment.”
“We had a training session last Friday and it was a bit wet down at Deakin University where we were training. Guys were slipping and sliding everywhere, and there’s Gaz training in runners, he didn’t slip over once and no one could tackle him,” he said.
“He is just a freak of nature.”
How much does Gaz have to give in terms of season long fantasy? Will he be more of a week-to-week DFS proposition or can you see him still being a year long premium option.
Club Champ Crouch commits to the Crows
Adelaide FC Club Champion, and All-Australian midfielder, Matt Crouch has signed a three-year contract extension.
Crouch was an all-around fantasy stud last year and we can expect more of the same in 2018.
Eagles Kennedy ahead of schedule and a forgotten star
Eagles key forward Josh Kennedy who had surgery just last month and was feared out for Round 1….
“He’s probably a little bit in front of what we thought,” Eagles coach Adam Simpson said.
“Hoping to get him back into pre-season, so that’s looking pretty promising.”
“It will be touch and go (for round one) but we’re hoping that getting out of that boot a couple of weeks earlier will get us more of a look towards round one.”
Nic Nat is certainly one of the forgotten ruck stars and is set to return to the Eagles team that desperately missed his physicality and grunt around the contest last year.
Naitanui, who hasn’t played since rupturing his ACL in round 22, 2016 and underwent minor arthroscopic knee surgery in October, has been ruled out of West Coast’s AFLX games next month.
Instead, the Eagles are targeting their final JLT Community Series clash against Fremantle on March 11 for his long-awaited comeback.
“I would’ve thought so. We’ve got a bit of planning to do before we get to that stage, but most of the guys on the track now are aiming for that last game,” Simpson said.
Nic will have his fantasy admirers this year but ruckman coming off long-term injuries normally take time so monitor his preseason closely.
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