Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Coach Chris Hey puts things into perspective in regard to Olympia Warriors

There have been many comments on this site about Olympia Warriors. To clear the air and to put things in a proper perspective, I interviewed Olympia coach Chris Hey today.

Walter Pless: How is training going a week out from the Summer Cup?

Chris Hey: The last three to four weeks have seen a significant lift in numbers at training, which has been encouraging. We have had up to 35 players, who in my view have the ability to play seniors, either now or in the future, and their attitude at training has been good. You can see the players are starting to realise there is a real competitive edge for senior positions, which is what every coach wants to see. In Sunday’s game against South Hobart, given the strength of their squad, there were three things I wanted the players to work on in that game and I was happy the way things progressed up until the last 25 minutes, where the difference in fitness really kicked in.

WP: What rules have you imposed on players in regard to training and selection?

CH: When first appointed to the position, I contacted a number of the 2009 senior players, introducing myself and simply asking their views on how they thought the club could move forward. One major issue that continually arose was selection based on commitment versus reputation.

The club organised a barbecue in late November, with training commencing the following week. I announced to the players at the barbecue, and also spoke to players when I contacted them by phone, and indicated to them a simple philosophy that I felt needed implementing in order to get the club rejuvenated.

I told them that ‘train’ equals gain equals potential senior selection, and that ‘no train’ equals no gain equals no senior selection.

I felt it was a simple scenario where players were then left to make a decision and bear the consequences of those decisions they were making, and not me. The simple fact is, the Summer Cup squad members selected have been those players who have shown commitment to training from day one.

For weeks, there were rumours about players leaving it till the last moment to train and the fact that some people did not think I would follow through with my statement. If I had reneged, I may as well have packed my bags and moved over for the next coach, and I was not willing to do that.

I don’t think I was asking too much from the players. I have asked the players what they want to achieve, and they want to win a premiership. You can’t compete against clubs like South Hobart for 90 minutes without fitness and cohesion as a team, and we have had little time to be able to work on those matters due to the poor early turn-ups to training. We are literally six to eight weeks behind a lot of clubs because of the fact the majority of more senior players have turned up mid-January, some five weeks after training was called.

WP: Is there any dissension in the ranks?

CH: Reading your blog site and people would say ‘yes’. Attend training sessions and I have not felt any dissension amongst the players at all. I think there are some players concerned as to where they may fit in the puzzle, but that is something that everyone most likely experiences when a new coach comes along and I see that as a good thing.

I have spoken to some of the more senior players at the club, who will play in the reserves during the Summer Cup, and they might not be happy, but I believe they understand my reasoning for taking the stance I have. I have had two of those Summer Cup reserve players approach me and congratulate me for taking the stance I have, which is encouraging and appreciated. I have made it quite clear that the Summer Cup is an opportunity for them to step up, show commitment to training, play well, and there is no reason why they will not come into consideration for senior selection.

It is disappointing to see comments on the blog site from person(s) very closely associated with the club, who obviously feel they are unable to approach me and speak to me face to face on issues of their concern. I have always been approachable and all I want to see is for this club to achieve the following during my tenure:

Develop a more professional and disciplined attitude to the game from a player and club perspective.

Develop a stronger junior base of future players for the club and for the club to be more proactive in that area.

Provide a competitive environment for selection within the club without bias.

To develop a whole-of-club environment, where everyone feels a strong connection to the club, no matter whether you are a female player, junior or senior player.

Develop the next generation of senior players for the future of the club.

Be competitive within the competitions we play.

Gain respect as a club from the greater football community, that Olympia Warriors are professional and worthwhile considering as a club for future generations.

I could go on but they are a few ideas.

WP: What are your Summer Cup aims?

CH: I want us to be competitive.

Players to understand how to work, both individually and as a team, within different formations, both offensively and defensively.

Provide the opportunity for our younger players to experience playing in the top competition available and assess their ability to play at that level beyond the Summer Cup.

Continue to create cohesiveness amongst the senior playing group.

Gain respect from the football community that Olympia Warriors are a club that will be a competitive, professional outfit in 2010 and beyond.

WP: What is your senior Summer Cup squad?

CH: Hugh Richardson is the club captain, Dimitri Nester and Justin Farrugia the two keepers, and Robert Lebski, Youssef Mohamad, Peter Tsakiris, Adam Powell, Jayden Hey, Benjamin Phillips, Aaron Smith-Richardson, Warren Wadawu, depending on his international clearance, Matthew Hedge, Rory McCallum, Lee Mason and Dipendra Kunwar. These are the players at this stage.

The missing players from 2009 but who have potential for 2010 are Nick Meredith, Christi Tsakiris, Adam Hedge, who is overseas but will return, Carl Larazabal, who has a long-term injury but may be available in May or June, Danijel Djekanovic, Aaron Percy and Chris Kumpulainen.


Anonymous said...


roundball said...

I totally agree with the coach, no player has a given right to start. Let all train and earn their spots, 15 years at the club or five minutes.

Anonymous said...

Chris Hey and Olympia are heading in the right direction. There is a lot of work to be done though. It's only a few months ago that they were hammered 11-0 in a league game of the 09 campaign. A lot of ground needs to be made up in youth development - but the process is underway.

The alternative is that they can import or pay players of a higher standard, but what does that achieve in the long-term? How long do those players normally stay with the club?

It is obvious that the system Clarence, South Hobart, Juve etc of developing and encouraging young players pays dividends in years to come.

Patience is the key - a supportive committee / supporters are an advantage.


Anonymous said...

no mention of Fletcher Tracy

maybe doesn't rate him?

Anonymous said...

Fletch didn't play in 2009. It's not meant to be an exhaustive list of everyone at training ..

Anonymous said...

ahh yep didn't read that correctly :(

Pixel 40 said...

it is all well good but after summer cup
Everything change.
If he can sacrifice a few games. He may get there
but the pressure as a coach is not always easy

Anonymous said...

wasn't it a list of senior squad?

well done chris hey on trying but seriously you have your work cut out!

Hugh Richardson is a great selection as club captain both on and off the field

birdman said...

be warriors,not worriers! Chris has 'em heading in the right direction, methinks...

eightball said...

come towards the start of the season we'll see if hey is really incharge, or whether mr money bags mamakis will have his way and get the old olympia guys in

including- nectar vavoulis, kosta "killer" vavoulis,
raymond benson
richard "frisbee" sampson
liam monroe
trevor carson
has crossa played for olympia yet???

gag said...

mamakis and hey in lockstep on this new 'approach' - both want change and will achieve it the hard way if necessary. No pain no gain!

eightball said...

no pain no gain my name is hey i lay by the bay make things out of clay

Booby Watcher said...

Interesting comments from Chris Hey... and interesting comments made about Olympic in general... see how the year pans out i guess..

Anonymous said...

eightball that is pure gold! who are you as i am a fan!
would be cool if your name was dan as then i would be, a fan of dan who was on a life ban for sipping a can which was not full of jam but was sitting next to pam when i went to vietnam and had a cram towards my exam and didn't tell sam...........BAM!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

not coaching kids anymore that will listen chris .be ready for the backlash when things dont work in the greeks way .dont say you werent warned .read this blog in 8 weeks to hear more.