IN HINDSIGHT: PAUL ROOS
FTER A DECORATED 356-game career as a player in the AFL and VFL, Paul Roos sat down with a clean sheet of paper. He wasn’t altogether sure what this exercise was for – he hadn’t decided yet to pursue coaching. But he did feel an urge to write down the thoughts and impressions he’d gathered over his playing career, about the way he and his teams had been coached, before the passage of time and nostalgia would obscure his footballing memory.
Roos would indeed go on to become a defining figure in this era of AFL coaches, taking the Sydney Swans to a long-awaited premiership in 2005. Beyond the accomplishment of winning a flag, Roos was at the forefront of new organisational thinking that swept the league, as he ushered in the Swans’ vaunted Bloods culture and passed on intact a side that added another title in 2012. Roos then took on the mighty task in 2014 of turning around a hapless Melbourne Demons. Having again handed over the coaching role to a nominated successor, the turnaround of the club has been realised this season as the Dees made the finals for the first time in a decade.
Roos’ success as a coach flowed from what he wrote on that paper, a set of 25 points that encompass a blueprint for victory – and that’s not just for football matches. Roos revealed his method in a new book,
Here It Is, and spoke to Inside Sport about how he came to see these principles over the course of his time on the sideline.