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Shiel embraces the Bomber brand

BTV: Pre-season | Shiel Interview We spoke to Dylan Shiel as pre-season training continues for the boys.

Explosive Bomber Dylan Shiel is relishing his new club’s attacking and entertaining brand of football as pre-season training continues to ramp up at The Hangar.

The former Giant is among the league’s best running midfielders and after a trouble-free off-season he said he has enjoyed training beside the Bombers’ extensive crop of speedsters including dashing half-back Adam Saad and emerging midfielder Andrew McGrath.

“I’m tracking well, it’s my first full pre-season so it’s nice to be able to go into a summer injury-free and be able to hit it head on,” Shiel said on Friday.

“That’s ideal going into a new club, to be able to train almost every session and put some good kilometres into the legs.

“I feel like I’m moving really well, there’s a lot of speed out on the field at the moment, so it’s good to run alongside guys like Saady and ‘Pidge’ McGrath.

“They play an exciting brand here at the Bombers and (it is) one I’m looking forward to being a part of.”


The grinding nature of the pre-season can naturally lead to frustration and impatience, and Shiel said it has been exciting to take part in recent match simulation drills as training rises to a new level ahead of the quickly-approaching season.

The competitive sessions also allow the 25-year-old to continue to learn more about his new teammates to ensure he slots nicely into the line-up in 2019.

“That’s what we’re employed to do, play footy, and when you get to practice that at the club, get yourself match fit and get those bodies hardened it’s ideal for a really good start to the year,” he said.

“I feel like the guys have trained really well over the last couple of weeks and certainly the intensity has been taken up a fair bit.

“It’s a great opportunity to be able to understand my new teammates and be able to link up with them as well and I’m looking forward to having blokes like Dyson Heppell and Zach Merrett back out there.”

Shiel said McGrath has been among the standout performers of the pre-season, while he has also been encouraged by Joe Daniher’s recent efforts as the key forward gradually continues his patient return to full fitness following an injury-ravaged season in 2018.

“A bloke everyone has been talking about lately is Andy McGrath, he’s been fantastic.

“I’m liking the look of Joey Daniher when he’s been coming into training as well…he’s already a serious player and when he’s out there he certainly performs.”


Shiel was the first of four Bombers to be drafted for the upcoming AFLX tournament on Wednesday, proving popular among the quartet of captains and eventually landing on Jack Riewoldt’s Team Rampage squad.

The unique team line-ups will see him placed alongside some of the league’s best players, and the 2017 All Australian said he is looking forward to the rare opportunity to pick the brains of his teammates during the tournament.

“When you get to surround yourself with the competition’s best you always want to be bouncing some things off each other.

“There’s going to be a bit of that, but (we will) enjoy each other’s company and it’s certainly for the fans, this competition, so hopefully everyone comes and brings a good show.”

Shiel will be joined by McGrath (Team Bolts) and fellow Bombers Anthony McDonald-Tipungwuti (Team Deadly) and Michael Hurley (Team Flyers) at the tournament, and he said the open spaces created by the experimental format will be right up the alley of the athletic Dons.

“We’ve been able to train it a bit in some of the (simulated) games this pre-season, it’s a free-flowing game and it certainly suits the runners.

“It’s great to be able to throw something different to the footy fans and put on a really good show.”

The one-day event will be held just a fortnight away on Friday, February 22, at Marvel Stadium.