It’s hard to believe that 16 rounds including grading have passed us and only 3 games remain of the regular season. We are one of the lucky teams that can look forward to our season extending beyond the home and away and into the finals. The boys have done extremely well to position ourselves on top of the ladder, we have had some fantastic victories along the way and some close calls, plus we have dealt with a changing team each week and unfortunately some season ending injuries but this has presented plenty of opportunities for players along the way.
For the last three games we are lucky enough to play before the seniors and reserves so if you’re heading out to those games set the alarm for a couple of hours earlier and come and watch the future Gulls. Not only has the season been good in terms of win and loss but the development has also been a highlight. Four boys have played senior footy this year including two debutants in Sam Allen and Dom Booth joining Zedekai Copland and Zach Walter, which is a credit to Mitch and Bobby for giving them a crack, while we have also had three boys represent the Geelong Falcons in Zedekai, Zach and Charlie Sprague also.
Our last three games are Geelong Ammos away, St. Albans at home and Torquay away before we embark on a finals campaign. After being knocked out in the Preliminary final last year the boys are keen to go better this year!
A WEEK AS A COACH – COLTS
The day after the game is usually spent giving any individuals feedback on their game on the Saturday for those that ask. If there’s anything I need to go through with any other players, I’ll get in touch with them as well whether it be how they went or any injuries etc. Then it’s about briefly going through the results of the other games in the division and enjoying the day.
This is our first training session for the week which is based around recovery, feedback and team bonding. I will spend a bit of time before hand planning the session and trying to get an idea on how many numbers we will get. I will get to the club around 5.30pm to set up, we spend the first part of the session recapping the game from Saturday and talking about the positives and negatives from it. Then it’s out onto the track where the boys do some laps at their own pace to get the legs going, before we might do a kicking drill or goal kicking, it’s all very relaxed and good fun and doesn’t go for more than an hour. I will leave the club around 7.30pm
Tuesday is probably the most low key day of the week where I try to not think about footy at all. The weekends game is well and truly done and there is no training to plan for and all the boys should have received any feedback they wanted.
Probably the day when things start rolling for the weekend coming. Any boys who are unavailable will let me know and I’ll start placing together the team for the weekend. Wednesday nights are our main session, again I will get to the club around 5.30pm to set up training, a bit more needs to be done on Wednesday nights. Training will involve a lot of touch early before an extended period of match simulation working on areas we need to improve on or how we are going to play for the upcoming weekend and maybe how the opposition set up as well. It’s generally a pretty long session that goes for between 1 ½ and 2 hours. I’m out of there just before 8pm
Thursday is the day where the final pieces of the team are put together after hearing from the Geelong Falcons if they are taking any of the boys and from the senior coaches if they are taking anyone as well. So throughout the day I am going through different team line ups and discussions with the other coaches about what might happen. A few players might get in contact with me throughout the day about what their role is for the upcoming game. After I finish my own training I’ll know for sure everyone who is available for selection and proceed to post the team in the group with details of the match.
Friday’s are spent hoping the boys look after themselves and there are no messages from anyone saying they are crook, hurt themselves or anything like that. Anywhere between an hour and two are spent on preparing the pre game. I’ll go through any previous results with the opposition we have had, their recent form, goal kickers, better players and also list any potential match ups I want to happen. A lot of the pre game is centred around the way I want to see us play and how we can go about executing that, I like to make sure I cover everything before going over the most important aspects and highlighting those. I like to give the players a bit of notice if they have a direct match up just in case they want to prepare themselves. I’ll also generally have a chat with the leaders and make sure they are right to go and get the boys up and going.
Match day is pretty consistent most weeks, after taking a few weeks early in the season to get our pre game routine right everyone has started to get on top of it. The boys are required to get to the ground at 8.45am for both home and away matches (we start at 10am). I will usually aim to get to the ground around 8.30am so it gives me enough time to get my message up on the whiteboard ready and to adjust it if I need to – could be weather influenced or a late withdrawal. By 9am everyone has arrived and it’s into the rooms to go through the pre game on the board and get the message across to the boys. It’s at this point I can tell if the boys are switched on and ready for the match, just if they are buying in to what I am saying. The game comes and I have pretty high standards on the boys, just in terms of basics – effort, skills and celebration. I am usually pretty relaxed throughout the game, maybe with the occasional outburst but I try and give as much feedback to the boys as I possibly can throughout the game. After the game I give my post match address, now that I am back playing its pretty quick and rushed but still making sure I get the points across I want to. It’s pretty easy straight after the game to say things without thinking about them so it’s important to focus on a few things either positive or negative and explain them with some examples behind them. I also don’t like to single out players to much but when the praise is due I am happy to hand it out. After I play I will usually run into some of the team and talk about our game and what they thought of it. If I’m not doing anything that night it’s back home and talking about both games with the old man, some boys might already be seeking some feedback on their game which I will give to them before calling it a night and an end to another football week, before getting up and going through it all again!