Tonkin to lead culture shift
Tuesday, 19th November, 2013
By Ethan James
The West Football Club has flagged a “culture shift” as their main goal heading into next season.
The Robins have unveiled their 2014 coaching line up with Dale Tonkin set to again mentor the A Grade side.
West finished third this year and Tonkin spoke about the club’s desire to build a more disciplined environment at all levels.
“(The changes) will revolve around how we interact and communicate with each other from the playing group to the staff all the way through to the board,” he said.
“There will be transparency and an open and honest working environment and respect within the club towards each other.
“We understand that we may need to take one step back in order to take three steps forward for the long term stability of the club and playing group.”
Tonkin was thrilled with his coaching team.
“The re-appointment of Paul Attard as a senior assistant coach is tremendous and the newly appointed Craig Jones as senior assistant coach is also a huge positive for the club,” said.
Football Manager Michael Harris was equally pleased with the balance of youth and experience in the group.
“It probably sounds a bit simple but they all really want to coach ... that’s the main thing I was looking for,” he said.
After guiding his side to the Under 18 premiership this year, Jeb Grose will again partner assistant Sean Wilson.
It is the third year the pair has worked together.
“With a perfect season in 2013, we are looking forward to a competitive 2014 and we will ensure our lads are in good condition as we endeavour to go back-to-back,” Grose said.
There is a fresh face in the Reserve Grade ranks, with Sheldon Hall given an opportunity to begin his career at senior level.
“I hope to bring a free flowing, running game style and a bit more of a full ground press, similar to how it’s played in the AFL,” he said.
Having coached junior footy last year, Hall is confident of communicating closely with more mature players.
“Most of the boys play cricket together and get along well, so I think we’ll all be on the same wavelength.”
Veteran mentor Colin Tonkin, who has a long history at the club which includes coaching a fledging Brent Staker, will apply his nous as coach of the Robins’ ladies squad.
“With his experience in the seniors, I think Colin will be a very good teacher for the women’s side,” Harris said.
West kick start their pre-season preparations with a meet and greet on December 8 from 2pm.