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Don's draftee update

Katrina Gill  June 15, 2017 4:46 PM

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We’re seeing the reason why we drafted him

Coach Don Pyke is expecting a strong second half of the season from Adelaide’s newest recruits.

The past six months have been an introductory process of sorts for Crows draftees Jordan Gallucci, Myles Poholke, Elliott Himmelberg, Matt Signorello, Ben Davis and Ben Jarman.

Draftees are at risk of experiencing ‘information overload’ as they transition from talented juniors to full-time, professional athletes.

For the promising young group, everything has been new – from training loads and game plans, to diet, living out of home and increased scrutiny, both internally and externally.

With the biggest education block now behind the draftees, Pyke is excited about what the players can deliver in the latter part of the year.

“Draftees today have got an enormous load to bear,” Pyke said.

“The challenge and the danger is that it’s a lot of information for a young man, who’s come into an AFL environment straight from junior footy.

“We try and manage that because we still want those guys to come in and play to their strengths, and play good, instinctive footy.

“With game style, we try and educate the guys in a drip process … so it’s not like we’re just flipping the top of the head and shoveling all the information in there.

“Getting ready for the start of the season, they’ve been exposed to a lot of new information.

“Now, they’ve got all the information they need for this year and it’s a matter of going out and playing.

“We’re seeing some of that in their performances over the last few weeks.”

Coach Don Pyke provides an update on the Club’s 2016 draft crop:

Pick No.15 – Jordan Gallucci, midfielder/forward
AFL games: 1
SANFL games: 6

“Jordy made his AFL debut against Brisbane (in Round Nine) and it was great for him to get that opportunity. He’s continuing to build his profile as a midfield/forward in the SANFL and some of his performances have been really good.

“We’re happy with how he’s tracking. We’re really hopeful we’ll get him back into the AFL team in the last half of the year and we can see some more of the stuff we saw against Brisbane.”

Pick No.44 – Myles Poholke, midfielder
SANFL games: 8

“Myles is playing midfield for us at SANFL level. It’s fair to say that early days we threw a lot of information at Myles from a structural viewpoint and other bits and pieces.

“The last few weeks, he’s got back to playing some good, instinctive footy and he’ll build on that.

“Myles has been an emergency for our AFL team, and should be another player who is really pressing hard for AFL selection in the second half of the year.”

Pick No.55 – Elliott Himmelberg, key forward
SANFL games: 9

“It’s always interesting with the big guys because they generally take a little while to develop.

“Elliott came off not playing a lot of footy through injury last year, so the real pleasing part is that we’ve been able to get him trained up and he’s got continuity in playing now.

“We’re seeing the reason why we drafted him.

“There have been some really positive signs for him, but he’s a work in progress and he’ll take a little while longer to come along. Some of the things he’s doing at SANFL level, we’re really happy with.”

Pick No.62 – Matthew Signorello, midfielder
SANFL games: 9

“Matty came off post-season shoulder surgery and is adapting to playing senior footy. He’s learning what it’s like to play against men.

“For a lot of these young guys, it’s the first time they’ve actually played in open company and that in itself has its challenges in terms of the bigger bodies and slightly faster pace.

“We’ve also challenged Matty to play slightly differently to where he’s used to playing. He’s playing more outside the contest than inside, which is going to be good for his learning in the long-term.

“Again, he's showed some signs and we expect he’ll push on in the second half of the year.”

Pick No.75 – Ben Davis, forward
SANFL games: 0

“Benny had a foot problem which required surgery, so unfortunately we haven’t seen too much of him yet.

“He’s back running and doing some training now, so we’re really hopeful of getting him back in Round 16 – 17.

“Talking to him, I know he’s champing at the bit to get out there and see what he can do in the last half of the year.

“He’s put on a bit of size since he’s been injured and in the gym, so he’s a bigger version than he was when he arrived.”

Father-Son Rookie Selection – Ben Jarman, small forward
SANFL games: 9

“Ben’s doing a couple of really nice things for us at SANFL level. He’s jumped in as a small forward and is continuing to work on his craft.

“Through pre-season, Ben was a bit up and down in terms of his continuity. He missed some sessions and took some time to adapt to the workload.

“But now he’s been able to get up to train and play regularly at SANFL level.

“We’re seeing some good signs from Ben. It’s now about him building on that to become a player we think is going to be capable of playing good AFL footy.”