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Colt Corner Final Pre-Season Update with Beau Wardman

Wednesday, March 28, 2018 - 6:54 AM

Subiaco colts coach Beau Wardman provides an update from the Subiaco colts and talent programs heading into round one of the WAFL season.


Hear how the Subiaco colts have embraced pre-season, Beau’s thoughts on the performances so far in pre-season and some of the players to watch in 2018 from the young Lions.


Q: Only a couple of days away from the first bounce in the 2018 season proper, how are you feeling about the prospects of the team looking ahead across the year?


A: I think at this time of the year most teams are excited about the prospect of playing games on the back of a tough pre-season. We have welcomed a few new faces to the coaching team and they have had immediate impact with their passion and energy and I think that has been reflected in our training sessions to this point. I am looking forward to seeing the continued growth of our playing group this season, a number of players who have come though our Lions Pride Academy in 2017 and those colts returning have shown strong improvements throughout the pre-season and it will be good to showcase these.



Pre-season you won the first game, lost the next two, were there any major takeaways from the pre-season games?


It has been a great opportunity to expose all of our squad to the level. The coaching group really haven’t focused on the results, I don’t think the scoreboard was even working for our first game, but more so just looking at players consistency under pressure, how they handle playing certain roles and allowing them to experiment with their games, putting into practise the months of training.



The first up win over West Perth, seemed to be a game where the boys just worked there way into it, and eventually found a way to stamp their dominance on West Perth?


I think we exposed about 35 players in this game and West Perth were the same. We also had Harvey Bishop from Esperance and Fraser Softley from Kalgoorlie travel to Perth to play which was great experience for them, and will continue to provide those opportunities for our country based players. What was important for us was our ability to maintain our structures and skills for long periods of time. Our effort and intent was strong and that enabled us to win the ball and control periods of the game.



The loss against Peel, seemed to be one of those games where you had enough play to be able to win the game, but probably hurt a bit by repeat forward entries in defence and lack of forward pressure at times, are these among the things you are continuing to work on?


We were happy with our pressure against Peel. I think we had 17 entries inside 50 in the third term that you elude to, we just couldn’t capitalise on the scoreboard. We will continue to work on our connection to our forwards. Peel were very disciplined in their defence and that made it tough so credit to them and how they went about it – something we can learn from. Overall, some positive signs however.



Injury wise, a couple of key personnel seem to have gone down over pre-season, disappointing for those individuals, but opens up opportunities for other players to have an impact in 2018?


Look, really disappointing for Jaxon Bilchuris who has suffered an ACL injury. He will miss this year. He has done so much work over summer to set himself for the season, we did regular Sunday morning sessions at Leederville working on his goal kicking and marking, he was prepared to go the extra yard. I know he will be really diligent with his rehab and continue to be apart of the team over the season. Cody Butler has just had diagnosed with a stress fracture in his back and could miss 3-4 months, Zac Caulfield, Alex Thompson, Ethan Breen and Cody Sawyer are all going through rehab at the moment with long term injuries over summer.



Your leadership group for 2018 has been announced in the past couple of weeks, must be exciting for Madoc to be announced as captain and indeed all the other leaders to be recognised with their position leading this group?


A great group of leaders we have this year. Madoc Plane as Captain and the leadership group of Matt Pannell, Liam Hickmott, Luke Foley, Caleb McKenna and Duane Oxenham-Smith all highly respected by the staff and more importantly their peers. The player nominations after camp saw 22 players nominated by their peers and 9 players received more than nine nominations which goes to show the depth in our group and how they all live the club values so strongly. We look forward to watching these boys grow and drive the standards and Andrew Dawe our Wellbeing and Leadership Officer will be a driving force behind this.



In terms of Madoc, what made him stand out as the captain of this team and what do you think he will bring to the role?


I think Madoc would admit, he is not the best player in our team. However, he is the best team man, he performs his role with consistency, he plays with strong effort, he seeks constant improvement and importantly has the respect of all his team mates. I know Madoc will really drive our standards and behaviours, he will lift the younger players in our group and challenge them and help them improve.



On a personal level you have had the opportunity to be involved alongside league coach Jarrad Schofield running the Subiaco Coaching Series Workshop, how did you find the first session and what feedback do you continue to preach most to aspiring coaches?


I think it is a great initiative by the club and has been driven largely by Michael Farmer. To have over 25 coaches at the first session shows there is real interest in the community for coach education. Still on that same pathway, my message would be to embrace all learning opportunities, attend training sessions of other teams,  seek out opportunities to talk about how they structure training, develop players skills, how to get positive response from players, review or implement your coaching philosophies – these things can really enhance your coaching and challenge your ideas.