2nd Mar 2012
In balmy Friday night heat, the Magpies hit the track for their first official internal trial for the 2012 season. There has been great anticipation around the club with new recruits joining the squad and the expectation of a more experienced group of players who have grown over the past two seasons under senior coach Tony Bamford.
The first half provided some exciting and promising signs. Adam Cockshell showed he will be an asset to the football club, rucking strongly and taking contested marks up forward kicking or assisting goals. Cockshell has slotted into the team like he has been around the club for the entire pre-season, and will form a powerful partnership with James Meiklejohn, who didn’t take part in the trial.
Fellow recruit Ryan McKenzie along with Sam Gray worked well in the midfield, providing clearances out of the centre. West Coast recruit Callum Wilson top-scored, kicking five goals and showing his presence by becoming a focal point as a strong marking forward.
On the opposing “red” team Jake Hyland - recruited to the club from Kingston in the South East in 2011 - showed promising signs up forward as well as defensive pressure on the rebound.
2011 Under-18s premiership captain Trent Heffernan provided great run through the midfield, while the Magpies’ newest recruit – 18-year-old Oliver Tweeddale- showed strong defensive pressure and run from the back lines. Vice-captains Luke Slattery and Mark Dolling were again strong, demonstrating great defensive pressure.
With the ruckmen rested, the second half became a show of the midfielders. McKenzie showed he has great vision and decision making skills with pin-point accuracy kicking to the forwards. Matthew Rose’s off-season work looks to have paid off, with his strength and weight gain enabling him to play in congestion. Teaming with Sam Gray, they were strong, creative and balanced in their play.
Josh Thurgood was consistent all night in winning the 50-50 contests, while Corey Grove stood out up forward in the final half.
Senior coach Tony Bamford was impressed with what he saw throughout the match.
“The coaching group was pleased to see the players put into practice what they have been rehearsing over the pre-season and there have been definite gains in their skill efficiency,” Bamford said.
“Tonight was a perfect lead into the first trial match next weekend and makes picking a team difficult to take on West Adelaide.”
The Magpies will play West Adelaide at Alberton Oval on Saturday (3rd March). Reserves play from 11.15am with the League clash kicking off at 2.10pm.
Internal trial goal-kickers: Callum Wilson 5; Grove 3; Mercer, Rose, Hyland, Kulikowski, Young, Harder 2; Lees, Cockshell, Burnett, Heffernan, Wellington, Shannon, Broomhead, Thurgood 1