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Sunday, June 24 2018 @ 01:18 pm ACST

Inside The Bunker – Coaching Victoria (Part 2 – All Nations)

The 2017 Kickstart and All Nations Championships gave a unique ability to sit in a coaches box of an elite junior competition and listen to what coaches and the off field crew discuss before, during and after a game. There is insight her for any coaches. World Footy News thanks the Victorian All Nations team for allowing us to be front and centre during a game.

Jamie Pi knew that he had a talented team of players under his guidance. Results might not have yet validated that, but results aren’t everything. Sometimes it is the process and the journey that gets people’s attention. It was certainly the criteria that Jamie and his coaching team were most interested in.

The Victorian All Nations team was playing against South Australia in the final match of the day. It was a chance for the team to honour their game style and the instructions given by the coaches. The set of goals was written on a whiteboard and would be reviewed as the match went on.

Before the game the players were given their instructions by Jamie and his team. Team Manager and Assistant Coach, Junior Oneone, was giving advice and encouragement along with Victorian Kickstart coach, Peter Dye, and the omnipresent, ubiquitous David Rodan – the team’s Project Manager.

Between them they stressed the basics: If kicking out of defence and no options available, go straight down the boundary, defenders not to allow the ball to get behind them, take the game on, compete harder for marking contests and be desperate – manic – with tackles, spoils and one percenters. Across the first half that is exactly what the players did.

At half time the line coaches addressed their groups – mids, forwards and defenders. All coaches pointed back to the pre-game instructions and reiterated the need to honour the game plan and game style. If they held their nerve, and stuck fast to the plans, they could win this. Before re-entering the fray, Jamie reminded the players to stay focused on their own game and not be put off by their opposition.

The second half required different tactics to counter an unpredictable breeze. But the players raised the bar and held back a desperate South Australian outfit by being even more desperate – and accountable. The arm wrestle was broken when the Croweaters goaled, but then the Vics fought back after a period of dominance to kick two quick goals – a great reward for effort.

The coaching team had instructed the players to not worry about the boundary line, the scoreboard or anything else other than beating their opponent. It was sage advice as the final siren rang with the scores tied. It wasn’t a win, but Jamie Pi was proud of the team and said so – adding that every player contributed to the result.

After the game in the relative comfort of the change rooms, the coaches lifted the whiteboard which highlighted the pre-match goals – and every one of them had a tick next to it – testament to a group of players that heeded advice and did all in their power to honour those goals.

To read the first installment of this story - the match featuring the Victorian Kickstart team - go to: http://www.worldfootynews.com/article...0203952461
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