Wednesday 23 November 2005

Fat Porky

Suddenly Ben Holland doesn't look too bad does he?

MAGINE embarking on an up-tempo training session with elite athletes having done little more than watch life go by for a couple of months.

Then imagine the task with two and a half house bricks draped around your neck. Basically, that's what Lance Whitnall has done on return to Carlton for pre-season training - and not for the first time.

Even allowing for the possibility Lance has the metabolism of a hibernating bear, there is no excuse for him returning to training 8kg above his ideal playing weight.

Whitnall, preparing for his 10th season, should be embarrassed on at least three fronts.

First, returning to training as if he were pushing for the role of anchor man in a tug-of-war team is a recurring problem. Has been since he was a teenager.

Second, he recently re-signed with the Blues on an estimated $400,000 a year - having played on more this year.

Third, he would not have dared turn up 8kg overweight had Melbourne successfully negotiated his release from Optus Oval a month ago.

Carlton coach Denis Pagan would not discuss the matter yesterday for the second day in a row, saying only "we will address it internally," yet he must be fuming.

Not only is Whitnall a senior member of the squad, the group is crying out for leadership.

Thanks for holding on to him Carlton. How absolutely wonderful of you.

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