Senior Coaches Report – 1st June 2017
Season 2017 has not commenced as any West Adelaide supporter, member, sponsor, player or coach would have liked. We have been close to victory on several occasions and we have been in winning positions for significant portions of games on other occasions. Often small but costly lapses have been damaging on the scoreboard. It is of little consolation that at the same time last year our average losing margin per game was 56 points. At present it is 25 points. We gain little satisfaction from this statistic but it tells us that we are heading in the right direction.
The South Adelaide game in round 1 and the Glenelg game in round 7 were devastating for all going down by under a goal on both occasions. The senior players have been incredibly resilient throughout this very difficult time. They understand that their effort has never been questioned. As a measure of effort we count our one percenters which account for the desperate acts such as smothers, tackles, chases, spoils and shepherds and the players have achieved above our benchmark 100 every week, which is very much to their credit.
Skill execution under pressure, ball movement and defensive action have been areas of focus at training. We have scored at a poor 51% accuracy in front of goal. Needless to say goal kicking has been allocated a great deal of training time.
We have had some injuries which have hurt us at times. I believe that under the guidance of our fitness and medical staff that our treatment, rehabilitation and fitness programs are of the highest standard.
The form of our development team has been very strong with Coach Gavin Colville doing an outstanding job. He has maintained very high standards of team spirit, discipline and structure and he has quickly become a treasured West Adelaide commodity as he does an equally great job in mentoring our Senior Player Leadership Group.
Gavin has played a significant role in the emergence of some exciting young players who have developed significantly over the last 18 months – Jack and Lachie Evans, Jonty Inglis, Kenny Karpany, Chol Majok, Tyler McPherson, Tom Pillion, the Ryan brothers, Josh Stevens, Murray Waite – just to name a few.
As Senior Coach, I take responsibility for our poor start to the season at senior level. I can assure everyone that the players, staff and coaches are sticking together in a combined effort to change our fortunes sooner than later.
On a personal note thank you to all of you who have expressed their support regarding my minor health issue. I also thank the board and management of WAFC for their support. There are many, many people far worse off than me when it comes to health concerns. I can assure all concerned that my condition is in no way connected to our poor start to 2017.
Development team v Glenelg
Unfortunately, few highlights were to come from the weekend’s 46 point loss to Glenelg. Having been undefeated for the first five games and coming off a week’s break, expectations were high. However after a competitive first quarter, our effort and team structures fell well below required standards. From quarter time, the opposition took full advantage and outnumbered, out hassled and displayed superior decision making and skills. Interestingly, after quarter time, our deficiencies varied by quarter.
In the second quarter, I felt our inability to exit the backline with any fluency cost us dearly. In the third term, our team structures were lost, resulting in the opposition transitioning the ball far too easily, and the final term was riddled with poor skill errors and decision making. All three areas represent areas of strength in previous weeks, highlighting their importance to our overall performance. Post-match, we asked the players to focus on their response over the coming week. I look forward to seeing players approach training with a disciplined mindset and next Saturday’s game with a steely resolve. Our better players on the day included Hugh Haysman through the midfield, Tom Lynch in the backline and Tyler McPherson in the ruck.
Development Coach – Gavin Colville