Q&A With Collo
Stephen O'Brien asks: Andy, thought you were a tall short last year, in my opinion Dunell is better as a 3rd tall, so now with losing Clouston is that a concern?
AC: Tall key position players are hard to come by for any team. We had to adjust to a mobile athletic team. Injuries and form to Sean Tighe and Scott Clouston made it hard. Losing both will definitely challenge us as a group but Ayce Cordy and Arryn Siposs will add a different dimension. Jake Owen and Sam Critchley need to step up this year. I agree that Sam is better playing the third.
Tom Greenaway asks: Your coaching record is exemplary, surely you’ve had interest from AFL sides? Is an AFL coaching gig an ambition?
AC: I was really ambitious in my thirties and had a taste of being an assistant. I decided I wanted to develop the skills of coaching a team and all the management that involves. I felt the need to develop my own ideas on how the game should be played and continue to try new things. I have been fortunate to be offered a few opportunities but the timing or the position was not quite right. My competitive side of me would love to have a go at the top level as a coach one day.
It sounds a bit corny and a bit cliché but I am loving coaching Williamstown and the challenges we have in the VFL competition. It is great coaching a standalone VFL club. The boys have tremendous values and are a pleasure to be around…most of the time (ha).
Stephen Greene asks: Who is your best recruit to the club this season?
AC: This question is like asking to choose who is your favorite child. Each recruit brings their own set of skills and personality to the group. Ayce’s versatility and height was a critical recruit. It is a real shame about losing Ariel to suspension. We are all excited about the opportunity Matt Dea has been given. Arryn Siposs is a terrific player and person. Many young boys will be required to step up. Their Williamstown stories are just beginning.
Lindsay Dawe asks: Hey Collo, when are you going to join Twitter?
AC: Thanks Lindsay for the question. I must admit that I don’t think I will be joining in on the Twitter phenomenon. I love how our club uses Twitter for information to our supporters but personally I like to keep my thoughts and opinions as measured as possible. My emotions might get the best of me and Tweet something that I might regret. That happens way to often. I do find it funny though. I would rather laugh than be laughed at, for a silly comment.
Alan Parker asks: What are the conditions regarding Ariel Steinberg? Can he train with the club? If not who can he train with to retain fitness? Is 2016 counted as part of his contract? Can he attend games?
AC: I have great concern and empathy for all the young men that have been suspended. Ariel is a super person. We are still working through the parameters and the rules around it all. I am certain he is not allowed to train at the club.
Ben Faulkhead asks: Who was the player you feared most in your playing days at Hawthorn?
AC: I learned at a very young age that fear was not a feeling I wanted in my life. I worked hard on the philosophy “fear nobody, respect everybody”. On the field, in a game, I definitely was beaten on numerous occasions but couldn’t wait until the next time I played against them. Physically dangerous on the field, was being in the area of Tony Lockett and Gary Ablett senior. I made sure I knew where they were most of the time.
Kent asks: Do all of the stand-alone clubs in the VFL have a genuine future in the current league structure?
AC: It is my opinion that unless the AFL supply more funding to state leagues that some clubs will struggle to keep up with the increasing standards of both on field and off field. The Williamstown Football Club can and will continue to thrive as a standalone club due to some great business decisions. State league teams like ourselves provide an amazing competition and opportunity. I could write forever on this subject.
Peter Wilson asks: Would you ever want to go back to the Hawks in any way?
AC: I am a proud Hawk and am forever thankful for my career in football. Whenever the Hawks have asked for my assistance I have jumped at it. I was lucky to coach Box Hill for a couple of years and look forward to continuing to help the Hawks grow.
Leigh Ritchie asks: How has big Ayce Cordy settled in and will we see him in a number of roles?
AC: Ayce has settled well. Being here previously has made it easier for all. A big smile, great energy and quality player. He will be played mainly forward but look forward to challenging him to continue to grow as a player.
Michael Cosgriff asks: Who is the biggest threat to your back-to-back aspirations?
AC: Back to back is the outcome of a successful 2016 Campaign. The focus of 2016 will be on each match and winning enough games to finish top 4. We learn from the past and will focus on our own personal growth as a team. Knowing this I am excited about the challenges ahead that our opponents will provide…Fear none, respect all.
Lee Harradine asks: You had a good stint at West Adelaide in the SANFL, bringing a bottom club to the verge of a premiership. What major differences, if any, do you see between the SANFL and VFL? Who are the up and coming players you see from your TAC Cup recruits and is this the pathway for the future?
AC: Great to hear from you Lee.
I absolutely loved my time in the SANFL. The players, the people and the competition. I love how the SANFL is held in such prestige by the fans and the media. It is like the competition is heritage listed and will be protected at all costs. The VFL grew from the changing needs of AFL teams and the decreasing status of the old VFA competition . It is still a new competition and needs further time to adjust and grow but its diversity is very interesting mixing old VFA clubs with semi-professional players against the might of the old VFL clubs. I love how state league clubs provide a community friendly competition where kids and families can enjoy kicking the footy on grass areas and at little cost while watching a great game. The Victorian media could definitely learn from the coverage of SANFL footy.
The players are identical in talent yet the game is played differently due to the make up of only 21 players and 50 rotations a game compare that to 23 players and near 140 rotations.
Of the 10 TAC kids coming into our program Buykx-Smith and Carter are two tall defenders that are already making it hard for the forwards at training.
Lindsay Dawe asks: Can you ask Collo to explain this?
AC: This photo is dear to my heart and one that is proudly in my study at home. I am a former Doncaster Heights Junior player. The club asked me to help recruit from the local area and part of this was the photo/poster. Like all AFL players we owe so much to our junior coaches and clubs who instilled the love of footy. I am forever grateful.
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