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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.

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