The 2018 Transition Coach Cup

Greetings Tipsters


Flicking thru the football news a few days ago, read a piece about Nathan Jones, Pat Dangerfield and Phil Davis being on teev talking about the state of the game. Nathan doesn’t watch footy on teev, he doesn’t like the look of it. Phil reckoned that stakeholders like players and coaches shouldn’t have a say ‘cos they only want to win, regardless of how ugly it may be. Pat said that they all have to follow the structure, regardless.


A few minutes later, reading about St Kilda and the coaching staff, they were all listed. Coaches for forwards, midfielders, backmen, development, reserves and transition. What does a transition coach do? I did hear Richo, in one of my rare moments of listening to commentary, refer to “transitioning” – at the time, I thought he might have meant kicking and handballing but this is 2018 and coaches and players are glued to Champion Data’s ever more esoteric statistics.


The average mug will never see these stats, they’re sold, at a very pretty penny, to clubs. A book has recently been published, one that purports to uncover these murky details. It’s titled “Footballistics”, whether that’s a pun on statistics or ballistics I leave to you to decide. I read a bit about it, an extract maybe, it was murky and overly detailed, I went back to reading something relatively straightforward, ‘The Satanic Verses.’


You may recall the fatwa issued on Salman Rushdie for that book. At the time, writers were lining up to support him and his freedom to write what he wanted. Much more recently, writers were saying of the Charlie Hebdo crew that they just shouldn’t have done that. Killers have feelings too…


Anyway, when debating the decline of football and solutions thereto, we’ve covered the nineteenth man, compulsory pre-match drinking, compulsory crap jobs, now, thanks to Nat, Pat and Phil – and me, I wrote about this 16 years ago – it’s time to talk about the coaches.


2008, I worked with a bloke, doing conifer hedges one day, he turned the cutter 90 degrees and strolled past the hedge, trimming the tops beautifully. “You’ve done this before,” I joked. “I grew up on a farm.” The farm next to Luke Ablett , he shared a house with Luke in Balmain while finishing his uni degree.


Goddamn, wish I could remember his name, he was a good bloke. Anyway, told me that Luke said it was all about meetings, that it’d changed a lot in the few years Luke had been in the system.


Ten years later, vastly more teev treasure, god only knows how many more coaches are employed these days. Maybe I could get a gig with the Monaros, tweet coach or suchlike. But, really, we need to sack all the assistant coaches.


Maybe not all. One fulltime assistant should be enough. If a club champion wants to drop by with some hints on ruckwork or set shots, fine. But the line coaches? You’re sacked. Development coaches? You’re sacked. Transition coaches? Write a 4000 word essay about what exactly it is that you do. Then, you’re sacked.


Then we’ll introduce the Bob Davis Medal for the coach who can come closest to saying “Lair it up” in a Grand Final.


Mug lairs and smart alecs, ain’t that something that used to be a bit of an Australian trait? Something you’d expect in our indigenous code? I’m not surprised Cyril retired.


Cheers Tipsters


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About Earl O'Neill

Freelance gardener, I've thousands of books, thousands of records, one fast motorcycle and one gorgeous smart funny sexy woman. Life's pretty darn neat.

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