Subiaco Football Club – West Australian Football League

 

Subiaco were coming off amazing success and had won the last 3 premierships in a row. In October 2008 I got a call from Scott Watters, the senior coach. Jarrod Schofield, the beautiful kicking ex West Coast Eagle and Fremantle Dockers player who I’d also coached at Port Adelaide Football Club had mentioned me. Scott was looking for someone to run the physical preparation. The challenge of going for 4 straight premierships was too good for me to pass up.

 

“In 2007 I approached Scott for a role at the Subiaco Football Club. The following year, Scott became Head of Conditioning. In a short space of time it was evident that his skill set was broader than the parameters of the role to which he was initially employed. Since that time I have worked with him in both a team environment and on an individual level….” 
Scott Watters
Senior Coach, St. Kilda Football Club, AFL
Premiership Defensive Coach, Collingwood Football Club, AFL
2 x Premiership Senior Coach, Subiaco Football Club, WAFL

 

 

Essentially my role was to lead and co-ordinate all training and physical preparation for the 50 or so senior players. I also had to co-ordinate, manage and liaise with 10 staff to ensure an efficient and effective preparation service for senior listed and junior development players.

I ended up collaborating closely with and providing special counsel to the senior coach on all aspects of the performance program. This included:

  • training & tactics
  • communication
  • learning, leadership & club culture
  • team selection
  • coaching & performance philosophy

 

In relation to my role, a 3 main outcomes made it successful year:

  • Very low soft tissue injury rates – a KPI in the role
  • Successful balancing of players’ performance and professionalism standards with outside work/study demands – indicated by consistent high player engagement with pre and in season preparation
  • Significant personal contribution to the development of a learning culture within the performance program

 

But the main outcome of the season, our ladder position, was very good without being perfect:

  • We lost the grand final by 3 goals to a team that had been 1-2 wins above us on the ladder for the whole year
  • We were 5 goals down at ¾ time. One or two less and I reckon we would’ve won it
  • To give an example of what I see as important, my most rewarding moment for the whole year was see the team respond to the challenge offered by Scott in the ¾ time address
  • The challenge was to play the last quarter out regardless of the score. They did. The 3rd quarter got away from them but they literally did their best after that when they could’ve easily given up. I feel I contributed to that quality in the team.

While working at Subiaco in the WAFL was at a lower level than my previous AFL experience, it was nevertheless a valuable experience. I learnt more about the power of quality relationships in co-operation and achieving great things. I was able to again apply some original ideas and see them work successfully, and I got to see how another football club operates.

 

“Your time and effort in the role has been been exciting, challenging and certainly educational. You tested the coaching staff and players to think outside of the square and beyond what they see and to get more out what they do.” 
Andrew McBean
Football Manager
Subiaco Football Club