Coach The Coaching File

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dogwatch

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Jun 17, 2009
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Time for a fresh start on our coaching discussions. It seems the old Bevo threads have passed their use-by date.

Not surprisingly Bevo is the magnet for anything to do with coaching strategy, match day tactics, team selections and even list management decisions. He is the media's go-to man and the club's main mouthpiece in its communication with fans so his is pretty much the only club voice we hear on all footy matters. From that it's easy to make the assumption that he makes every decision and that it's "his way or the highway" (such departures are rumoured to include Montgomery, Matt Boyd and Dalrymple).

But is it as simple as Bevo being a grumpy, stubborn one-man show? What do each of the assistant coaches actually contribute? We don't really talk about them much. What is their role on match day? How much is the tactical approach to any given game due to Bevo and how much is derived from the creative input and observations of his assistants? How many of us can even name all the current coaching staff and their respective roles/titles? Are they really just a bunch of timid yes-men? And now that we are in a grand final once again is it still a fair call to say we need some revitalisation in the ranks of the assistants?

I'd love to see some insights into the contributions and thinking of the respective assistants if anyone has any good links or interviews.

But it's also still very much about Bevo. After our third successive loss in Rd 23 and missing out on the double chance I said he needed to get us at least the win over Essendon. I said if he got us to a grand final it would be a fantastic achievement and if he got us another flag from outside the top four he'd be a genius.

Well he's nearly there. We know he's not perfect but he has certainly worked some magic over recent weeks and there's one game left in 2021 that could elevate him from magician to demigod.

So this is not just for the Bevophiles and the Bevophobes to put their case and ask their questions, but also for discussion of our general approach to coaching.

Just one request: keep it respectful. If someone disagrees with you there's no need to hit the nuclear button. It doesn't immediately mean the thread is an embarrassment or that there must be a public apology. It's not about you, it's about coaching at the club. State your case respectfully and let others state theirs.
 

Next Waiting

Premiership Player
Jan 19, 2014
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I liked the strategy and the risk of this campaign in arguably more adverse circumstances than the other finals teams have endured. It's been said many times over the years that Bart Cummings trained his horses to the minute for the best chance of winning the Cup. To run 3200m to the best of their ability and capacity at 3:00pm on the first Tuesday of November.

Partly through the lack of a State competition and perhaps partly by design the "coaching/selection team" chose to give their best 22 the best chance of peaking on Grandfinal Day even though it may have risked not making it all if they dropped a game in finals or missed the top 4 and had to go the long way and the risks that that carries also (which is how it's panned out). Looks from this distance like they have timed their run to the minute

I just love the ballsiness of that approach and it looks like it has given us the best possible chance with the the bye week now upon us and we likely to take substantial benefit from it.

I doffs me cheese cutter.
 

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Next Waiting

Premiership Player
Jan 19, 2014
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I did notice in Bevos after game email things that he states how hard it is to foster love amongst the group with the forced changes of AFL lists compared to the amateurs. I wonder if that approach is part of the reason why he wants to keep the same staff long term as much as possible.
That's an interesting idea and plausible. And how might you keep that longer serving group fresh in their thinking without moving them on? Clarko was quite good at involving other people from other codes for fresh perspectives if I'm not mistaken and exploring their environments if able.
 

Next Waiting

Premiership Player
Jan 19, 2014
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Facts, actual inside knowledge, analysis and informed speculation doesn't sell DW.

Could I suggest an alternative Thread Title. Tired Coaching Panel Dooms Dogs to be Forever One Hit Wonders
 

doggies ftw

Brownlow Medallist
Sep 22, 2008
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So what’s our coaching structure look like at the moment, or this year anyway -

King Senior assistant/midfield
Smith backline
Hansen Forward
Varcoe/Maddocks/Edge/Maple

Is that standard across the league or are we short a line coach? I feel most clubs would have Coach/Senior assistant/3 line coaches

With King gone and Hansen promoted to senior it would be awesome to bring in both a new midfield + forward coach - Smiths done a brilliant job with our backline for years. Martin on a 1 year deal with his main focus being ruck coach (to avoid soft cap issue)

It’d be nice to get a known name or 2 from great footy programs, any ideas?
 

Southern 8

Club Legend
Oct 16, 2015
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So what’s our coaching structure look like at the moment, or this year anyway -

King Senior assistant/midfield
Smith backline
Hansen Forward
Varcoe/Maddocks/Edge/Maple

Is that standard across the league or are we short a line coach? I feel most clubs would have Coach/Senior assistant/3 line coaches

With King gone and Hansen promoted to senior it would be awesome to bring in both a new midfield + forward coach - Smiths done a brilliant job with our backline for years. Martin on a 1 year deal with his main focus being ruck coach (to avoid soft cap issue)
Don’t know much about Edge/ Maddocks. Varcoe seems obvious to step up to forward coach. Not sure what’s around outside a lot have already made there moves. Also Blues looking for assistants. Varcoe may be a great coach in future or not who knows. I’m interested to see where we land.
It’d be nice to get a known name or 2 from great footy programs, any ideas?
 

Maverick Dog

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Oct 30, 2003
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Interesting that Lyon maybe heading to the cats in a strategy/director of coaching role. Looks like most teams are bolstering their top end coaching talent with experienced coaches.Probably taking a leaf out of the Dees.

Let’s see who Bevo brings in. Probably someone with no AFL experience on a cheap as chips contract. Does anyone have any idea how our coaches bill stacks up to other clubs? Interesting to know what Bevo is on.
 

Generation West

Senior List
Oct 15, 2018
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I did hear we were keen to meet with Cameron Bruce, but he had committed to Brisbane.

Personally think that Bevo will go for individuals that will not rock the boat ala Montgomery. From what I know Monty was pretty intense, but unsure of how/ why he and Bevo fell out.

Smith seems to be doing well with the backline, but I would love someone like N. Reiwoldt as forward coach and a James Kelly/Dean Solomon type as midfield/senior assistant.

Martin can act as ruck coach and play VFL unless we absolutely need him.
 

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bobs head soup

Premiership Player
Sep 14, 2015
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Looking through the ranks of the recently retired/delisted, Jonathon Patton and Jake Carlisle stand out as the sort of footy brains and quality individuals we could do with around the place
 

fred cook

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Jan 14, 2005
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Looking through the ranks of the recently retired/delisted, Jonathon Patton and Jake Carlisle stand out as the sort of footy brains and quality individuals we could do with around the place
I think we might be to late to pick up the above as assistant coaches , I heard they have signed with the Saints :)
 

Mutt

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Aug 16, 2008
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I did hear we were keen to meet with Cameron Bruce, but he had committed to Brisbane.

Personally think that Bevo will go for individuals that will not rock the boat ala Montgomery. From what I know Monty was pretty intense, but unsure of how/ why he and Bevo fell out.

Smith seems to be doing well with the backline, but I would love someone like N. Reiwoldt as forward coach and a James Kelly/Dean Solomon type as midfield/senior assistant.

Martin can act as ruck coach and play VFL unless we absolutely need him.
Not sure about the reliability of this but there were multiple people claiming to be itk at the time Monty left who said that he subtly undermined the head coaches he's worked with - very ambitious and happy to play hardball to get a senior coaching gig. Might be bullshit but we all know people in our various workplaces who are like that.
 

Generation West

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Oct 15, 2018
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There is probably not a huge urgency to appoint anyone, as we are one of the few clubs left with coaching vacancies so we can at least be really thorough with those that are available.

Having said that, you would think something would be announced in the next 2 weeks to be able to do some pre season planning.

Think our 1 - 4 year players will be back late November ?

I wonder if our interstate players have been given their own programs and told they don’t need to be back in Melbourne until the start of January?
 

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