AFL NAB Cup Live Western Bulldogs vs Collingwood Magpies Stream AFL Pre Seasons NAB Challenge match will be kick off at Etihad Stadium, Melbourne, Australia, Saturday 21 March 2015 online, 19.10pm (AEDT) and its broadcast on Foxtell.
Taylor Adams’ first season with Collingwood didn’t work out the way he’d planned. After arriving with some fanfare from Greater Western Sydney, he put too much pressure on himself to perform, then, just as he was hitting his stride, had his year ended prematurely with a serious finger injury.
Teammate Ben Kennedy, meanwhile, had had the heat put on him by coach Nathan Buckley to improve his running capacity.
So when the pair took off for Europe the day after the Copeland Trophy count in early October, they had plenty of food for thought. One thing they’d already decided, though, was that this would be an end-of-season trip with a difference.
Adams and Kennedy toured through Holland, Germany, the Czech Republic, Austria, Poland, Italy, France and England. They saw plenty of sights. But much of the time, they did so whilst pounding the pavement in their own mini pre-season, running ragged towards a better 2015.
Adams does the roll call of cities. “Amsterdam, Berlin, Prague, Vienna, Krakow … we ended up in Paris and London. We’d just get up in the morning and go for a run. It’s a great way to see the cities. You just see sights you wouldn’t have otherwise.
“There were some really iconic views. We ran past the Eiffel Tower. In Rome, we ran past the Colosseum. It’s pretty special to say you’ve seen that first hand. It’s better than running along the Yarra.
“‘Tay’ is an elite runner, we were in places we hadn’t been before, and if I didn’t hang on to him I was going to be lost, so I was left with no choice but to stay with him,” Kennedy smiles. “I’ve smashed my bests by a massive amount. We’ve both had pretty good pre-seasons.”
So much so in Adams’ case that the 21-year-old was seriously considered for a spot in Collingwood’s leadership group this season despite having played only 12 games with the club. And despite an incident last January still the source of some embarrassment for him.
Out with his sister and friends at a Geelong nightclub, Adams was arrested and fined by police for being drunk in a public place. As off-field incidents go, it was on the lower end of the scale, but still enough to attract the sort of attention he didn’t need.
“I really regret it,” he says. “It just puts a sour note next to your name and it’s something you don’t want to have hanging over your head going into a new year. I was pretty disappointed in myself, and it was a really hard couple of weeks after that.
“But I think the thing that got me through was that I’d earned enough respect from the playing group and coaches throughout the pre-season that we were able to put it behind us and move on pretty quickly.”
Western Bulldogs: 1. Jarrad Grant, 2. Robert Murphy, 3. Mitch Wallis, 4. Marcus Bontempelli, 5. Matthew Boyd, 6. Luke Dahlhaus, 9. Jake Stringer, 10. Easton Wood, 11. Jackson Macrae, 15. Tom Campbell, 17. Tom Boyd, 22. Mitch Honeychurch, 23. Jordan Roughead, 25. Koby Stevens, 27. Will Minson, 29. Tory Dickson, 30. Joel Hamling, 32. Michael Talia, 33. Sam Darley, 35. Caleb Daniel, 38. Dale Morris, 39. Jason Johannisen, 42. Liam Picken, 43. Jack Redpath, 44. Brett Goodes, 46. Lin Jong, 49. Ayce Cordy
Collingwood Magpies: 1. Alex Fasolo, 4. Brodie Grundy, 5. Jamie Elliott, 6. Tyson Goldsack, 7. Ben Kennedy, 8. Tom Langdon, 9. Jesse White, 10. Scott Pendlebury, 11. Jarryd Blair, 13. Taylor Adams, 16. Nathan Brown, 18. Travis Varcoe, 19. Levi Greenwood, 22. Steele Sidebottom, 24. Josh Thomas, 25. Jack Crisp, 26. Marley Williams, 28. Ben Sinclair, 29. Tim Broomhead, 31. Jackson Ramsay, 32. Travis Cloke, 33. Patrick Karnezis, 34. Alan Toovey, 36. Dane Swan, 43. Adam Oxley, 44. Corey Gault, 45. Jack Frost