- May 5, 2009
- AFL Club
What if he lays the foundation pieces that enable others to reach their full potential?
A colleague and I used to play buzz word bingo whenever one of our managers started speaking. It's amazing how little can sometimes be said despite lots of words being used.
I don't believe Balme's history reflects that, with the exception potentially being his time at Geelong.
I'd say it's likely that even Mahoney or someone subject to the same limitations can have a significant impact by ensuring we have a good structure in place with the proper people in place at least within his power. The natural limitation is the people and the reality that GM is on par with the coach and the list manager (as appears to be the case at least functionally). This also invites scope for the CEO who is clueless about football to have input.
If we were serious about change, we'd bring in a competent dictator who can at least set the required standards for the football side of things. It starts with the basics. A style of football (and I'd say Rutten can probably articulate a version of that which would satisfy) and the recruitment of players who are capable of playing the style but who are also versatile enough to evolve with the game. He would demand certain training standards and strength and conditioning / performance standards. There is a reason Geelong, Richmond and Hawthorn (during its most recent glory years) "recruit" so well. It's got nothing to do with the genius identification of special players, it's the recruitment of players who are suited to the roles they will be asked to play (which they are then developed for).
We pick flankers we don't then develop as midfielders. When we picked midfielders, such at Mutch and even Mynott, they compounded significant weakness of the side or, like Mutch, never really had a chance of fitting along side players we had (e.g. Langford and Heppell).
The problem is that there has been a pretty clear disconnect between recruitment and coaching and development. There is no amount of organisational diagrams and appointment of staff to junior positions that will address this problem. Someone who understands the issues needs to be calling the shots until it becomes muscle memory for everyone else otherwise we end up with Dodoro selecting a bunch of players who really have no hope in hell of being able to replicate the high intensity running required to play any meaningful variation of Richmond's game plan.
Seriously, we're going to take a flashy mid-sized forward, a midfielder not renowned for his workrate/running power (and who hasn't done anything since he was 16) and that is going to re-create Richmond's swarm how? Is it Parish, Caldwell, Merrett, Tippa and Langford who are going to do it?
It's not rocket science but if everyone continues to do their own thing there is no variation of it which will ever work. Lyon would have been ridiculously well suited to it (and it could have been his way of staying relevant to get his next gig).