Pies hit track
Tuesday, 21st January, 2014
By Ethan James
With over 400 games of AFL footy to his name, Brett Morris knows a bit about taking on a challenge.
He will be looking to draw on that vast experience when he returns to the role of head coach of the Central Football Club this season.
The club hits the training paddock for their first session today, but Morris says the later start is all part of the plan.
“I know we’re the last club to start ... it’s a long season and the hot weather has been pretty oppressive,” he said.
“We’ll try and work in a bit of variety as well with pool sessions and different regimes.
“It’ll start with two sessions a week and build from there but I’m looking at the guys to do a little bit of their own stuff and really show a commitment to the club.”
However, somewhat paradoxically, he identified fitness as a key area to work on, saying it hasn’t been up to scratch the past few years.
The buzz words of ‘culture’ and ‘attitude’ are also two areas that Morris wants to draw attention to.
He says new faces in off field roles will assist change.
“We have a complete new coaching panel and there are some new faces on the board as well,” he said.
A Magpie to the core, Morris was previously top man in 2007 and ‘08 and says he felt that the time is right for a return.
“The club is at rock bottom, I think we’ve only won ten out of our last 54 games but I love a challenge,” he said.
“I’ve currently got a two-year agreement and if I can look back and say the club is stronger than when I started, then I will have done my job.
“But that’s a long way away yet.
“I’d been thinking about it for about the past 12 months and when Heathy (Justin Heath) decided not to do it, I thought I’d put my hand up for the role,” he continued.
“I’ve got more fixed hours at the mine and am on the surface now which help a lot.”
Morris is content with the club’s depth and estimates there are about 60 players to draw on in the senior and underage levels.
Ashley Bates is one who has returned to Central.
He will play A Grade and coach the reserve grade team, while Steven Chestnut will support the women’s squad who have won the past two flags.
“(Ashley’s) experience will help no end,” Morris said.
“He’s a really good country footballer having played in Victoria as well as South Australia.
“With the women’s team, the past two coaches did a fantastic job but it’s also exciting to see someone given an opportunity.”
Central held their first official ‘Meet and Greet’ with the players and coaching staff at the club’s headquarters on Sunday afternoon.