Giants Coaching. Your thoughts.

General Giant

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With all the different opinions I thought we should have a thread.

Is Leon doing a good job?

Does he need more experience in his assistants?

Is injuries playing a part?

As in the title any personal attacks on poster or the man himself will get deleted by mods with full support by OP


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I have to admit that I find this aspect the most difficult to judge. It's always easy to blame players' form, injuries and umpires for losses, but coaching strategies & gameplans become a complex series of questions. How experienced are the group? What strategies are they capable of executing? Is the gameplan too simple? Is it too complex? Do players revert to certain preferred plays when under pressure? Is there a Plan B, and can the players revert to it easily? etc

GWS bolted into the top 8 for the first time last year and made it (somewhat fortuitously IMHO) into top 4. Was that good coaching, or a bit of luck that our gamestyle worked against other teams? Conversely, it hasn't worked as well for us this year, so it that the other coaches working our gameplan out and counteracting, without Leon & the coaches being able to call upon Plan B. The recurring issues inside F50 and coming out of defensive kick-ins do concern me, and that they seem have a causal factor in coaching - the bombing into F50 without working out a better way. Sometimes it works when the General is leading and clunking well, or Rory is standing tall. However, too many times we don't take the grab and it rebounds too easily. However, some have called for only 2 talls in the forward line to help the defensive pressure, but that didn't help us with the Swans last night. That can (and does IMHO) to the players selected. However, it is too easy to say that we need a 'player X' - the problem is judging from the draft who will become that 'player X' in future. As well, while we haven't played great this year, apart from the blowout in round 1, we've been near enough in all our games and won enough to be top 3 still (now) & top of the ladder a couple of times thus far. So I don't think that the coaching is that far off. I don't know how many changes of plan/style that Leon has in him though.

Team selections are always topical. I supported keeping Stevie J for the extra year, and with the series of injuries it's a bit hard to say it has been a major **** up to play him. Similarly, Reid & Lloyd have gotten games because of injuries & the inherent list composition to work within TPP. Yes, as players come back it becomes a pertinent question as to what is the optimum side. Bottom line is that winners are grinners and the team selections become 'great choices'. When you don't win, the questions come. Let's say that I think we could have given Setterfield a go this week, but understand going for experience instead, so I'm not at a point of rebelling against the selection committee yet.

I think that the coaches are still developing and there's definitely room for improvement. Tactical gameplan (including Plans B & C) is probably the focus there, and then working with the players to ensure they can switch as required.
 

_GT_

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#3
Is Leon doing a good job? Yes, he is. A great people manager, communicator and has a clear vision of what he wants his team to achieve. He isn't the most creative or innovative coach going around, but is that what we need with such a talented list?

Does he need more experience in his assistants? As I have said elsewhere, it would be interesting to move Al McConnell into a full time director coaching role and add another experienced assistant who can bring a fresh perspective that compliments Leon's. Having said that, I don't think our experience profile is all that bad. Replacing Brogan EOY will present an opportunity to attract another talent.

Are injuries playing a part? Absolutely. Just unsettles the team, players coming in are always going to struggle to come up to speed, and when first 22 players return they take a while to hit their straps.
 

Andre the Giant

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#4
Word is we are pretty heavily into Dean Solomon from the Gold Coast Suns.

If Solomon doesn't get a start as a Head Coach at the Suns or Collingwood he would be a chance of joining.

Very well regarded.
 

Gigantic

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#5
The first word that comes to mind when thinking of Leon's demeanour is: stoic. He doesn't give much away, pre-game or post-game. He's calm and collected. That's not always a good thing for the fans and spectators as we all want answers to our questions, but sometimes some things are better left unsaid. It all comes down to preference but I'm fine with his emotionally-neutral approach to communicating to the media, fans etc.

I think he has done a great job and surely still holds a bit of credit in the bank for where he got us last year. He seems to have control of the playing group (from my perspective as an outsider) and like has been mentioned, he is a great people manager.

I think head coaches in general probably cop a lot more than they deserve. Of course that just comes with the job, but I don't think he should cop it all for the poor tactics or being out-coached, not all the time.
 

kulak

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#6
I like that we #NeverSurrender

I don't like that while we usually have the edge in midfield contests, we don't take full advantage.

Good at coaching grit. Not so good at coaching strategy.

He's the anti-Don Pyke
 
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It must be hard to train a strategy for a game into your players when at the last minute each week someone scrambles your available tiles.
 

kulak

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#8
It must be hard to train a strategy for a game into your players when at the last minute each week someone scrambles your available tiles.
Those themes have been pretty consistent for a while now. In my opinion!
 

dlanod

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I think trying to read someone's coaching style from how they appear in press conferences and media appearances is a joke.

I do think there are deficiencies in our coaching though, but I'm not holding out much hope in that changing any time soon given the success Cameron has had so far. It feels like we're expected talent to win out on every line, and that just doesn't work. However this year has been a bit of a wash with pressure midfielders like Coniglio and Griffen missing, leaving a gaping problem in that once we've lost the ball we get the ball back (if we do) in our defensive area rather than a quick rebound.
 

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#10
I like his no-frills approach, there is no Hardwick and Buckley like bs in trying to paper over cracks or total spin about where the team is at. The efficiency of our fwd line considering the talent in it is really frustrating but the way the game is played currently impacts a lot on this. To be in our ladder position with the available players he has had this year to date is an absolute credit to him and you dont win close games and come back from 4 goals down in games like we have if the players dont believe in the structures the coach has put in place. We are now at the point where opposition coaches are putting in a lot of work during the week to beat us, and each week we are being hunted, this is the pressure being a top side brings and with it comes extra scruitiny.
 
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#11
After Friday nights game in the Essendon rooms, they talked to 3 ex-AFL coaches, Neeld, McKenna & Harvey, who are all assistant coaches to Woosha. That's an experienced coaching staff.

Leon needs assistance thinking through match day moves, perhaps someone with a little Sheedy-like cunning. Leon is good in many, many ways, but a bit of cunning couldn't hurt.
 

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Danny88

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#12
I think the coaching has been good. There is a clear plan to move the ball quickly to the forwards and to try an generate a one on one with either Toby or the talls. Its a good evolution from the "orange wave from a few years ago. The obvious problem is that when we don;t get that quick ball movement we end up bombing it in. OUr conversion rate going forward after generating the inside 50 is an area of concern but I think the players have shown poor pressure rather than bee poorly coached.

I also like the fact we can now change gears and control posession in the backline when required. It shows development.

I think we saw poor coaching in the draws where we shut up shop for the last 5 mins and just tried to hold on against an opposition trying to win. It meant we had few options down the line to get the ball out of our half and we paid the price for it. I hope we have learned from that

Overall I think the coaching is really good
 
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#13
I definitely think injuries are taking a toll. Cameron isn't a top level coach like Clarko for example, but he isn't bad either and not deserving of the massive criticism thrown at him lately I feel.

Expect to (and hope to) see you guys right in there fighting at the pointy end of the season.
 

General Giant

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Making sure that we have stability. Hopefully that brings on a few more re-signings.

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General Giant

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Well there you go lol

May as well not even discuss the coaching now as its not changing

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Not true. This is also about his assistants, his style etc.

Im glad he is staying as i do think he can be a great coach.
Just hope the support staff are there.

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#19
A few stats on the team after 17 games so far this year.

"Capability" type stats
  • Contested possession differential #4 (+6.1)
  • Clearance differential #1 (+8.1)
  • Inside 50 differential #5 (+3.7)
  • Most points scored #5 (97 per game)
  • Fewest points conceded #6 (85 per game)
  • Tackles #13 (67 per game)
  • Free kick differential #17 (-2.0 per game) -- shockingly, the Dogs are #1 at +3.2 per game...
"Gamestyle" type stats
  • Intercepts #17 (65 per game) -- the other top 8 clubs are all in the top 8 for intercepts
  • Turn Overs #17 (66 per game)
  • Bounces #2 (10 per game)
  • Disposal efficiency #2 (75%)
 

kulak

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#20
I reckon that lines up fairly well with the eyeball test.

1. We don't force too many turnovers (low intercepts). Intercepts lead to easy scoring chances. Low intercepts = more hard work to score.

2. We don't concede too many turnovers (low turn overs, high disposal efficiency). Low risk ball movement, kick down the line more often than not. Don't risk a costly turn-over, but also don't create easy scoring chances for us.

It's a contested arm-wrestle for both teams. Low risk. Grind it out.

I'd say that's the way Leon likes it.

For me I am still luke-warm on Leon.
  • Against good teams and coaches it feels like there are very few easy goals. For example: I would like to see some more structure around the times we do switch. From watching at the games last year I felt like often the opposition knew we were going to switch at the same time we did. This stuff should be programmed-in during preseason, it shouldn't rely on Shaw or Stevie J issuing instructions in real-time.
  • The overall philosophy is right for the team. We aren't an outside running team of silky ball users, we are an inside grinding team of contest-winners.
  • I love the spirit and grit which has been a constant.
He's not as good as Clarkson. He's not as bad as Crazy Vossy. He's alright. He might yet prove to be the right coach for this team at the right time, or maybe not.

No doubt whatever happens this year is partly influenced by injury. Will be interesting to see how the year finishes, and what happens next year. Some of the football in 2016 was fabulous and it's easy to forget that with some of the frustrating grind-fests we have watched this season.
 
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#24
I thought this piece on SEN was interesting: https://www.sen.com.au/news/2017/09/25/play-this-giant-like-dusty-urges-former-coach/

Play this Giant like Dusty urges former coach

Three-time premiership player Robert Walls thinks Greater Western Sydney small forward Toby Greene should be used in the same vein as Richmond superstar Dustin Martin.

Speaking on SEN's Hungry for Sport, Walls believes Greene can be wasted when played strictly as a forward when the supply isn’t there, so pushing him into the midfield would give the 2016 All Australian another string to his bow.

“I reckon Toby Greene is a really, really good player. But they have to develop him into a midfielder,” he said.

“It’s no good Toby Greene being in the forward line and the ball not coming down there. They have to use him how Richmond use Dustin Martin.

“Martin is a great forward and he is a great midfielder. They have to get a tank into Greene so he can go in the midfield and be explosive there.”

The former Carlton skipper has also pin-pointed power forward Jonathon Patton as another key player who needs to be more flexible, while the need of a small forward is evidently clear.

“They keep Patton up in the goal square," Walls said.

"That’s ok, but they have to develop him also as a footballer and I think a great combination would be Patton and Lobb sharing the ruckwork and the full forward position.

“I reckon Mummy (Shane Mumford) is just about shot. Jeremy Cameron is a great player but I get sick of seeing him on the half back flank when he is playing as a full forward.

“They need a small forward. They are hard to come by but a player of the quality of Eddie Betts and young Daniel Rioli they need something like that and they haven’t got it.”

For the second consecutive season the Giants have fallen at the Preliminary Final hurdle, and the Carlton premiership coach has urged Leon Cameron to show more imagination in the box and not allow games to drift when things aren’t going their way.

“I worry a little bit about their coach (Cameron),” Walls said.

“I don’t think he makes moves and I think he just lets the game unfold and if it’s not working they don’t make any changes. I think the coach has got to be a bit more proactive.”
I'm not familiar enough with the list or game plan to give a real opinion on this (and it's pretty easy for every former coach to give their two cents without any skin in the game), but I can see Greene taking on a midfield role with ease so perhaps it's something for Cameron and his staff to look into during the off-season?
 
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I thought this piece on SEN was interesting: https://www.sen.com.au/news/2017/09/25/play-this-giant-like-dusty-urges-former-coach/



I'm not familiar enough with the list or game plan to give a real opinion on this (and it's pretty easy for every former coach to give their two cents without any skin in the game), but I can see Greene taking on a midfield role with ease so perhaps it's something for Cameron and his staff to look into during the off-season?
Hope not, one of the main reasons he was the mid who became a permanent fwd to get games is his DE is pretty average, he is a much better receiver than a distributor
 
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