I wonder how well those at executive levels at AFL clubs understand what's happening to AFL coaches at present. I hope they have a much greater understanding than those in the sports media who you know football is their bread and butter. Sometimes is bread and dripping. Sometimes its bread, butter and 100s and 1000s. Sometimes they pretend it is fairy bread when it is just a slice of TipTop.
According to the media, AFL coaching is now a young man's game. What carp. Here's what I predict for the senior AFL coaches who are appointed only a few years after completing their stellar playing days:
- If they are lucky enough to step into a position where they have a star-studded line-up, they'll do well. Until, of course, their current crop of top line players retire or leave. For an example, look no further than the eGurls and Brisbane.
- If they step into a middle of the road team that's on the way down, they'll survive for two contracts. North Melbourne.
- If they step into a middle of the road team that's on the way up, they should buy themselves a lottery ticket. They are lucky, lucky bastards.
- If they acquire a bottom-dweller with little to no talent, they'll survive for two contracts. The first contract will expire in the hope that better times are ahead. The second contract is cut short with the certainty that there's bugger-all ahead. Richmond.
- If they acquire a bottom-dweller with some talent, they'll survive for two contracts whilst they "develop" their players. Then they'll be found out.
Coaches without man-management skills and a depth of knowledge of the game gained from years of experience are like the perennial bluffer at the poker table. They'll get away with it for a while and for a little longer if they are lucky. But they'll always be found out in the end. Experienced coaches know the game and study the tactics of the new coaches so that they stay abreast of the trends.
The best and most successful clubs will have older senior coaches with younger assistants. These assistants have to perform to hold their spots as more and more youngsters progress through the AFL (and other) ranks and complete their various coaching accreditation studies. Those clubs that appoint young senior coaches who have little coaching experience will fail in the longer term.