Coaching Staff Eye on our Coaching (Ratten, Lade, Batchelor, Slater sign on)

austinnn

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Thread starter #1
It seems that St Kilda Football Club is on the up and all the jigsaw pieces are falling into place in all areas: administration, playing talent, recruitment and list management, club profile, membership numbers, etc

With no disrespect meant, a big unknown at our club in a way is our coaching and how it will stand up during this phase and the final phase of our ongoing mission for ultimate success. That seems like a harsh statement, so allow me to qualify it: no-one on our coaching team has won an AFL premiership in their current position, and though most of us fans - including me - seem very satisfied with the coaches we have, we've yet to see their performance under the harshest spotlight.

Since his appointment, Richo and co have had little pressure on them to get results, which is fair enough given our developmental phase. This year (and arguably last year) will be a little different, we have the expectation of substantial progress and the broad KPIs interstate performance and participating in finals have been widely discussed.

I thought it would be an interesting idea to have a thread dedicated to all facets of our coaching, and perhaps even a comparison with other coaches - past and present, our club and opposition - when warranted. That said, I'm hoping that it won't get derailed into a Ross vs GT debate or a thread about Bevo, Clarko, Leon 'Luis Enrique' Cameron or Simon 'looks like a monkey' Goodwin.

Let me be crystal clear: I don't consider our head coach to be in any danger, and have every confidence that he will succeed this year in reaching his objectives. The positivity at the club over the last 2 and a bit years has given me this confidence and it is a relief. I am certain that by this time next year, we'll have some idea how Richo and co perform in finals. I'm sure it will be discussed then, but there doesn't seem much harm in discussing it beforehand either. I'd also like to canvas opinion about Premiership coaching of this era, what is required and which of that exists at our club and which of it remains to be developed/sourced.

I hope the thread won't become a big rant/melt fest and we can instead focus on analysis of the coaching in terms of:

  • match day coaching, ability to adapt to the situation
  • global strategy and tactical adjustments
  • skills coaching (difficult, as it's hard to separate the coaching from the player ability)
  • man-management and team-management
  • temperament, professional development over time
in more or less that order.

Likewise, it's only natural that we focus heavily on Richo as he's top dog, but I think it could be equally interesting to 'look at' the performance of our head of strategy Danny Sexton, and to a lesser extent the line and developmental coaching.

Finally, this thread is not concerned with players and their performance except when there is a point to make about the coaching. It's also not concerned with List Management or administration, commercial and corporate performance and so on.

---------------------

I'll start with a brief summary of the coaches and their roles. Most of this info was sourced directly from the club site, and is already over a year old, so please inform me of any updates or corrections I need to make.




Alan Richardson: Senior Coach since 14 November 2013
As the 45th coach of St Kilda Football Club, Richardson was appointed to the helm after an extensive coaching background at five AFL clubs, VFL side Coburg and East Burwood in the Eastern Football League.


Danny Sexton: Director of Coaching & Strategy since 2014 (at the club since 2006)
Danny Sexton has a wealth of football experience as a player and coach.


Adam Kingsley - Assistant Coach (Midfield) since 2010
Recruited as part of Port Adelaide's inaugural side in 1997, Kingsley went on to play 170 games for the Power.


Rohan Welsh - Assistant Coach (Defence) since 2014
For the past two years Welsh has been senior coach for Casey Scorpions in the VFL and was appointed as St Kilda's Assistant Defensive Coach towards the end of 2014.


Aaron Hamill - Assistant Coach (Forwards) full time since 2014 (coached at the club since 2012)
After stepping away from football, Hamill returned to the Saints in 2012 as a part-time forwards coach. In 2014 Hamill has stepped up to be the Saints full-time forwards coach.


Adam Skrobalak - Assistant Coach (Ruck) since 2014
Skrobalak has previously held a VFL assistant coaching role - forward line and development - at Port Melbourne under Gary Ayres.


Danny Frawley - Specialist Defence Coach since 2015
A former St Kilda captain and highly respected defender, Frawley returns to the Saints this year in a coaching capacity.

Ben McGlynn - Developmental Coach since 2016


Simon McPhee - Head of Player Academy and Development since 2011


Lindsay Gilbee - Sandringham Zebras head coach since now, (Development Coach since 2013)


Peta Searle - Development Coach since 2014
 

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austinnn

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Thread starter #7
Kingsley won a Premiership didnt he? 2004 Lion Killers?
Yes he did.

OP please do some research next time or you'll have to start working for the Herald Sun ;)
no-one on our coaching team has won an AFL premiership in their current position
Adam Kingsley, from Wikipedia: "He struggled in 2003, coming close to being delisted, but improved his form and cemented a spot during 2004, being a premiership player that year after working his way back into the side... In 2007, he became an assissant coach at Port Adelaide, a position in which he stayed in until the end of 2010"

Not my fault if you mofos can't read.
 

Rors

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#10
Adam Kingsley, from Wikipedia: "He struggled in 2003, coming close to being delisted, but improved his form and cemented a spot during 2004, being a premiership player that year after working his way back into the side... In 2007, he became an assissant coach at Port Adelaide, a position in which he stayed in until the end of 2010"

Not my fault if you mofos can't read.
Can read, just misinterpreted. My brain processed the 'in their current position' part as meaning 'at AFL level', not as a coach or assistant

My bad
 

austinnn

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Thread starter #11
Can read, just misinterpreted. My brain processed the 'in their current position' part as meaning 'at AFL level', not as a coach or assistant

My bad
Fair enough mate. Yeah, I didn't really think any playing record should qualify their coaching ability. After, all how many premiership medals does Michael Voss have? And so on.
 

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austinnn

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Thread starter #13
So here's a coaching talking point some may be interested in. It seems like there's been a lot of noise (as Richo would say) about all teams moving towards a "play on at all costs" style - I mean even the reactionaries at the official AFL site reference it as a new thing now so it really must be well-established - so if you were Richo with our current squad, how would you set the Saints up to best take advantage of that before the wheel turns again and that fad dies down?

And another totally separate question from someone who has only ever played one game, didn't learn it at school and only has a vague idea of how the game has developed in the last 15 years; Richo isn't known for coaching innovations in the way that Clarko and Bevo are, but does anyone think that he and his coaching team are capable of creating a new style and what do you think it would look like? I'm not even sure if that's a stupid question or not, but I'd love for our coaches to pull the wool over the eyes of the rest of the comp and gain an advantage that translates into sustained success, until everyone catches up.
 

CursingFijian

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#15
I think Richo and his team have some significant runs on the board. First and foremost, they brought some unity and focus to a team that was clearly fracturing at the time, and have had very clear messages for the supporters from the get go. I don't think he tinkered too much in his first year, but he put in place a game plan in his second year based on playing on quickly. He knew it meant we were going to get hammered. But he also had the vision to know that it was vital to being competitive in the future. I distinctly recall thinking that the younger players adapted to this faster than the older heads. From year three he started emphasizing the sliding defense, and while we initially watched defenders getting caught out in no mans land, it's gotten better and better.

Richardson has made pressure acts a key criteria at the selection table, and I think that is making us a tough team to play. And (without actually checking) I think the trend is that our defense is giving up fewer points each year. I like the way the boys smother the foot, and just put a little extra pressure on opposition players to kick, forcing teams to look handball happy at times. Overall though, he has put in place a game plan that the boys, young and old, believe in and sometimes that's half the battle.

The coach also places a strong emphasis on two way running, and I think we work really hard as a team in this regard. After the Port Adelaide game in JLT1 I recall one of the opposition players (Aaron Young?) remarking either during or post game that St Kilda was very strong in this aspect. And quite often on the TV, the focus will be on an opposition player who has taken a mark just on their defensive 50 or wing, but who looks baffled as to where the next kick should go only to go laterally or backwards. Every time that happens, in my brain, I equate that to our team has run harder than the opposition to flood the back 50 and occupy the vision of the ball carrier.

In terms of developing players the team has done a wonderful job I think. They've got players working hard on the track and in the gym. There seems to be improvement in the disposal of some of our lesser skilled players (Wright/Geary). Players have been able to change roles (Bruce/Wright/Riewoldt/Montagna/Savage) and improve the team. Weller is thriving under Hammill in my opinion. Hickey is coming along in leaps and bounds (pun intended) under Skrobalak. Ross's development has been outstanding. Membrey become a real threat very quickly.

I think the biggest disappointments would be the development of the players that WE SUPPORTERS have the biggest expectations for. Namely, Billings, Acres, Freeman, Longer and to some extent McCartin. But that's not to say they aren't tracking positively. It's just not at the rate we want.

All in all I think they have a firm grasp of the modern game. If you move the ball slowly the opposition will flood and the options will disappear. When, we don't have the ball we must run hard to pressure the disposal and occupy space in the defensive zone. I think the coaches have moved their chess pieces well, and have players with certain attributes playing roles that suit them. This has improved the team immensely. I think tactically on game day they make fewer mistakes than their opponents.

Most importantly, they have been able to put in place a coaching program that challenges the playing group and instills hope, which has been instrumental in attracting new talent and inspiring the incumbent talent to stay together.
 
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austinnn

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Thread starter #16
Sewell on ABC is saying that Doggies only have one pace, and that is full throttle. When teams can clog them up and slow them down, they can't scrap it out.

I think Richo's team started from that scrapping base, and have slowly learned how to play that slick frenetic style as well.
 

Sab22

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#17
I think Richo and his team have some significant runs on the board. First and foremost, they brought some unity and focus to a team that was clearly fracturing at the time, and have had very clear messages for the supporters from the get go. I don't think he tinkered too much in his first year, but he put in place a game plan in his second year based on playing on quickly. He knew it meant we were going to get hammered. But he also had the vision to know that it was vital to being competitive in the future. I distinctly recall thinking that the younger players adapted to this faster than the older heads. From year three he started emphasizing the sliding defense, and while we initially watched defenders getting caught out in no mans land, it's gotten better and better.

Richardson has made pressure acts a key criteria at the selection table, and I think that is making us a tough team to play. And (without actually checking) I think the trend is that our defense is giving up fewer points each year. I like the way the boys smother the foot, and just put a little extra pressure on opposition players to kick, forcing teams to look handball happy at times. Overall though, he has put in place a game plan that the boys, young and old, believe in and sometimes that's half the battle.

The coach also places a strong emphasis on two way running, and I think we work really hard as a team in this regard. After the Port Adelaide game in JLT1 I recall one of the opposition players (Aaron Young?) remarking either during or post game that St Kilda was very strong in this aspect. And quite often on the TV, the focus will be on an opposition player who has taken a mark just on their defensive 50 or wing, but who looks baffled as to where the next kick should go only to go laterally or backwards. Every time that happens, in my brain, I equate that to our team has run harder than the opposition to flood the back 50 and occupy the vision of the ball carrier.

In terms of developing players the team has done a wonderful job I think. They've got players working hard on the track and in the gym. There seems to be improvement in the disposal of some of our lesser skilled players (Wright/Geary). Players have been able to change roles (Bruce/Wright/Riewoldt/Montagna/Savage) and improve the team. Weller is thriving under Hammill in my opinion. Hickey is coming along in leaps and bounds (pun intended) under Skrobalak. Ross's development has been outstanding. Membrey become a real threat very quickly.

I think the biggest disappointments would be the development of the players that WE SUPPORTERS have the biggest expectations for. Namely, Billings, Acres, Freeman, Longer and to some extent McCartin. But that's not to say they aren't tracking positively. It's just not at the rate we want.

All in all I think they have a firm grasp of the modern game. If you move the ball slowly the opposition will flood and the options will disappear. When, we don't have the ball we must run hard to pressure the disposal and occupy space in the defensive zone. I think the coaches have moved their chess pieces well, and have players with certain attributes playing roles that suit them. This has improved the team immensely. I think tactically on game day they make fewer mistakes than their opponents.

Most importantly, they have been able to put in place a coaching program that challenges the playing group and instills hope, which has been instrumental in attracting new talent and inspiring the incumbent talent to stay together.
Spot on. Billings is set to have a break out season according to coaches and articles. Freeman needs to get on the park first. Paddy is slowly developing.
 
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#19
Yesterday our coaching staff didnt had any plan b or c when melb were smashing us.

No changes were made and our players looked dejected.

10 goals in a row by melb, that says lot about our inability to adapt and come up with back up plan.
 
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#21
Hard to believe with 4 points on the line, but any possibility that Richo wanted to see whether the playing group could stand up in the face of adversity, make the gameplan work and get themselves back into the game (consenquently they/it didnt) as a test or learning experience for the future, rather than bailing on it and giving them the easier option?

Richo is no fool. Anyone watching could see the issue but he didnt act on it. Surely theres more to it than 'hes got no idea'.....
 
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#22
Hard to believe with 4 points on the line, but any possibility that Richo wanted to see whether the playing group could stand up in the face of adversity, make the gameplan work and get themselves back into the game (consenquently they/it didnt) as a test or learning experience for the future, rather than bailing on it and giving them the easier option?

Richo is no fool. Anyone watching could see the issue but he didnt act on it. Surely theres more to it than 'hes got no idea'.....
I think it's a case of changing the mentality. Until last year, it's been teach teach teach teach.

This year, I think it should be about getting the wins, and maybe get finals experience for some players. To delay that would cause problems down the line.
 

austinnn

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Thread starter #23
Hard to believe with 4 points on the line, but any possibility that Richo wanted to see whether the playing group could stand up in the face of adversity, make the gameplan work and get themselves back into the game (consenquently they/it didnt) as a test or learning experience for the future, rather than bailing on it and giving them the easier option?

Richo is no fool. Anyone watching could see the issue but he didnt act on it. Surely theres more to it than 'hes got no idea'.....
Funny I thought the same thing. I think at this early stage he wanted to see what the players could do, and from all the posts I've read from people who saw the game, it seemed like if a few moments had gone our way, the evolution of the game would have been quite different.

Not saying Richo is blameless, but I am hesitant to write him off for the moment.
 

cooperrules

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#24
Funny I thought the same thing. I think at this early stage he wanted to see what the players could do, and from all the posts I've read from people who saw the game, it seemed like if a few moments had gone our way, the evolution of the game would have been quite different.

Not saying Richo is blameless, but I am hesitant to write him off for the moment.
Our leaders didnt stand up under pressure. Hope its not a common theme.
 
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#25
Great thread, it was frustrating to watch the likes of Lewis, Hunt and Stretch continually running off HBF straight after a centre throw up they became the connecting player to the midfield group.

We did not once go to them and pick each player up Melb had 3 players at each centre bounce starting off HBF which left 2 loose to be that attacking player.

Some times you need to be re active when a situation is un folding, there's nothing wrong with changing a game plan when needed.
 
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