Almanac Satire – Desmond interviews the Coach

(In writing this, I imagined John Clarke and Bryan Dawe playing the roles below – DJW.)



Long-time sports interviewer Desmond Troyer is joined tonight by this week’s coach-of-the-moment.


Interviewer: Thanks for joining us, Coach.

Coach: Good evening.

Interviewer: Do you feel safe in your job?

Coach: I’m aware that there is media speculation. I’m aware that you guys are big stakeholders in the industry. But internally we won’t be distracted by any noise.

Interviewer: But three losses on the trot isn’t noise. It’s evidence that something isn’t working.

Coach: Well, see, that’s not a question. But to address your comment, three losses on the trot is not evidence of anything. It is obviously not the result that we are chasing. But then, we won’t win every week, either. Internally, we have our processes that we are sticking to.

Interviewer: Processes?

Coach: Yes. Our processes. Our procedures, Desmond.

Interviewer: Procedures?

Coach: Yes. Our key performance indicators, our KPIs, show that we are improving each week.

Interviewer: But your win/loss record is surely the only key performance indicator that counts.

Coach: It is one measure; agreed.

Interviewer: One measure? It is the only measure that counts!

Coach: Look, internally we are united and we are looking forward. Our KPIs are rising. Our brand is solid in the marketplace. Our decision-making as a collective is improving. Internally we are happy with our trajectory. So, it’s quite simple: we focus on the process and the results…

Interviewer: …will come. Yes, yes. But this is a results-based industry. And you’ve lost your last three games.

Coach: Yes, but Desmond, we have also got some senior game time into young legs. Money can’t buy senior experience…

Interviewer: But you’ve lost.

Coach: …and we have adapted our game plan. We are always seeking improvement. We have a relentless drive to improve…

Interviewer: But you’ve lost.

Coach: …and our leaders have stood up in difficult circumstances. Desmond, we are all about developing leaders on the field and off the field…

Interviewer: But you’ve lost.

Coach: …and our membership is up on last year…

Interviewer: Excuse me; coach. All of that may be true, but you have lost the last three games.

Coach: Look, internally our expectations are to continue to improve as a club, and this is happening. Demonstrably happening. We expect that hot air and distraction will continue, but internally we will control the controllables.

Interviewer: Ahh, alright. Controllables. As coach, you are able to make changes on game day. Why didn’t you try more moves in the second half?

Coach: I stand by the decisions we made on the day. Game awareness is a big part of what we do and it will continue to be, going forward. Match-ups, form, injuries, interchange; they all play a part. Our KPIs for the second half were huge.

Interviewer: You lost the half 6 goals to 1.

Coach: And we acknowledge that and we learn from it. A game is not a half, Desmond.  As a season is not a game.

Interviewer: But if your KPIs were so huge, and you lost the half by five goals, doesn’t that call into question the value of your KPIs?

Coach: Our KPIs were designed to fit the club and the team at a point in time, at a stage in our development, and that point in time shifts and moves. Internally, we will review our KPIs when the time is right. We will be very transparent about that.

Interviewer: Alright; transparent. You’re outside the eight now with a growing injury list. You play form sides in the next two rounds. How do you turn this around?

Coach: The boys are all on board and looking sharp. The boys are hungry. Full credit to the boys for managing to stay focussed through all of this background chat. It can be distracting for young fellas, but full credit to the leadership team and to the line coaches. All of the footy staff have been terrific. Full credit to everyone at the Club. It’s a challenging time but we are all behind each other one hundred and ten percent.

Interviewer: Alright. What’s your message for the fans?

Coach: Our fans are clever, Desmond. They see through all of this distraction. My message to the fans is to be patient. They know this. I look forward to celebrating with them all when this is over.

Interviewer: When do your KPIs suggest that it will be over?

Coach: It’s never over, Desmond. It will never be over.





About David Wilson

David Wilson is a hydrologist, climate reporter and writer of fiction & observational stories. He writes under the name “E.regnans” at The Footy Almanac and has stories in several books. One of his stories was judged as a finalist in the Tasmanian Writers’ Prize 2021. He shares the care of two daughters and likes to walk around feeling generally amazed. Favourite tree: Eucalyptus regnans.


  1. Entertaining, funny and true .


  2. Love it. I’m finding it hard to read the nonsense emanating from the clubs these days.

  3. Earl O'Neill says

    It’s all about The Algorithm.

  4. E.regnans says

    Thanks Kate, Gill, Earl.
    Imitation, flattery, etc.

  5. Luke Reynolds says

    Very well done ER. Totally had Clarke & Dawes voices in my head while reading.

  6. Thanks Luke.
    I had B Bolton in mind.
    And re-read it as N Buckley.
    And R Lyon.
    And C Scott.
    And B Scott.
    And D Pyke.

  7. Mathilde de Hauteclocque says

    And … I’d like to hear how Coach praises the opposition in response to the question about how he’s going to prepare for them.

    Swan Nick Smith must have read this before he gave the ‘presser’ from Subiaco the other day. No deviation, none, not a phrase.

  8. E.regnans says

    A future captain, maybe a coach, Mathilde?

  9. J Longmire after last night’s loss:
    “Clearly I’d like a better start than 0-4, it’s not a great spot to sit,”

    “But it is what it is and we need to play better and more consistently.

    “Part of the reason we played Papley was because we thought he could help us win, but we wanted the game time into him as well rather than having four or five come back at once.

    “Some of those guys might be available for us next week but we can still do better with the blokes we have available anyway.”

  10. Ah, ER, the beauty of this piece is that it reads as both something Clarke and Dawe could have done, and something a Ross Lyon (et al) could have trotted out post-match.

    Re Longmire’s comments, I put much of the blame in the journos’ corner: the coach is mandated to attend the post-match presser, so surely the journalists should be better prepared, with more interesting and incisive questions than the standard run-of-the-mill queries?

Leave a Comment