Developing in the right direction
- Thursday, 08 November 2012
2012 was a big year for the development of the Subiaco football club, especially under the reins of new Player Development Officer, Jeff Lind.
The Colts entered 2012 with one of the youngest sides in the WAFL after losing a string of players from the previous year to seniors.
The way in which the side responded to the challenge was remarkable winning eight of their last ten games to finish with a record 11-9.
Names like Dom Sheed, Dylan Clarke, Kyle Halligan and James Garcia emerged as stars of the midfield for the 2012 Colts, aided by a fresh contingent of young players hungry for game-time.
Eight players came up from the U-16’s to play Colts football in 2012, with Alex Coe, Adam Creeper, Josh Deluca, Tim Edwards, Cody Grace, Tom Hooper, Aaron Summers and Connor Wilkinson all making an impact on the Lions winning season with a combined 41 games between them.
Cody Grace was a highlight for the Colts in the forward line in 2012, standing up to embrace a sweeping half forward role. The 16 year old kicked 24 goals from ten games in an impressive first year which also saw him represent the All-Australian Schoolboys.
Warwick-Greenwood product Connor Wilkinson was the standout young player in the midfield. Wilkinson notched 149 disposals from ten games playing a gritty following role, his best game in round 19 against the Swan Districts where he gathered 17 disposals, seven tackles and a goal.
We also caught glimpses of quick midfielder Joshua Deluca who played under the radar in his first five games of 2012 until busting out with 28 touches and a goal against Peel Thunder in Round 23, definitely a player to watch.
However what impressed Player Development Officer Jeff Lind most wasn’t the individual performances, but the players’ ability to seamlessly transition into a higher level of football, which is the main objective of the Excellence Program.
“The thing that pleases me most is that we introduced our 16s Excellence Program so that the boys could transition into the next level of football easily. We’ve mirrored the program on the Colts with the sole intention of making the transition seamless. The fact that we had 14 boys training on a full time basis with the program and eight went on to play this year for the Colts indicates the system is working.”
Lind is also confident that the system in place can keep producing players of the standard of James Garcia and Kyle Halligan.
“The eight boys that came through this year were all of a high standard. Four of them made the state 16’s and Tom Hooper narrowly missed out. So I have complete faith that the system will keep producing and I expect them all to be strong contributors for the Colts side in 2013.”
In focusing towards 2013, Lind states the club doesn’t plan to change much but retain the focus on the quality of coaching staff.
“Our structures will stay exactly the same, were producing talent from the 14’s and up but the key is pointing and retaining high quality coaches. We currently have excellent coaches throughout every stage of the system. Ross Jevons, Simon Quayle and John Batten are all doing a magnificent job because they all understand that the primary objective isn’t on winning, but to develop the individual as a Subiaco Lions footballer.”