Melbourne, still simmering after fading out last year’s Finals, turned up the heat during a bloody preseason session at Gosch’s Paddock.
And there were losses, too, as superstar midfielder Christian Petracca sent a scare through camp as he hobbled to the touchline.
WATCH THE VIDEO ABOVE: Christian Petracca scares Melbourne during high-octane session
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Petracca struggled with knee problems at the border line after sustaining a sore in a tackle. He straightened the knee, received treatment and tested again before returning to the field after a few nervous moments.
Veteran defender Michael Hibberd was also suffering from the attrition after suffering a nasty, corked thigh.
To further relief for the club, Hibberd later returned to light running.
But it was Kysaiah Pickett who wowed everyone after the game simulation
The Livewire forward, who will be off contract at the end of the season, gave fans a taste of what to expect with a strengthened midfield role this year.
The rivals will also be keeping a close eye on the 2019 No. 12 draft pick, with SA and WA clubs already lining up for his signature.
Pickett has continued to grow in size this year after the club admitted he was “electric on the track” in Wednesday’s game simulation.
But Pickett’s worth as a forward is obvious. He scored 40 goals in 2021 and helped the club to a drought-breaking Premiership.
And last season he scored a further 41 goals which is sure to give his coaching staff much food for thought as Melbourne strikers are seen as the club’s Achilles’ heel.
Meanwhile, Hawthorn’s Dylan Moore is off the market after signing a new three-year deal
Less than three years after a stellar game that saved his career — and after being cut and recast in 2020 — Moore said he needed to look at himself in the mirror and see who he wanted to be “as a footballer and as a person.” .
And Port Adelaide forward Charlie Dixon is eyeing a new deal with the AFL club as he is adamant he has four years of football left.
The hulking 32-year-old has struggled with a string of injury setbacks in his 12 seasons at the top level, including an ankle injury that saw him sit out the first 10 rounds last year.
But Dixon, who will be a restricted free agent if he remains unsigned at the end of this season, insists he feels “different from last year” and has started initial talks over a new deal with The Power.
“I’ve missed quite a bit about football so I think there’s still a fair bit left in me,” Dixon said on Wednesday.
“They sort of said they’d like to keep me, but … we’ll just see how we run throughout the year.”
– with AAP
https://7news.com.au/sport/afl/superstar-midfielder-christian-petracca-sends-scare-through-melbourne-camp-during-brutal-pre-season-session-c-9694489 Superstar midfielder Christian Petracca strikes fear during brutal training session in Melbourne