The Courier-Mail

Wal­ters en­joys fu­ture vi­sion as drones cre­ate coach­ing buzz

- ROBERT CRAD­DOCK @crad­dock­_c­mail

WHEN Bron­cos as­sis­tant coach Kevin Wal­ters started his rugby league ca­reer in Ip­swich, drones had a dif­fer­ent mean­ing in football.

“We ac­tu­ally had a few in our team,” Wal­ters quipped.

These days they fly over­head at train­ing.

A drone used to be a pop­u­lar term for a per­son not pulling their weight – now it is a lit­tle space­ship do­ing pre­cisely the op­po­site. The drones hover high be­hind the Bron­cos de­fen­sives lines at train­ing get­ting footage which is later an­a­lysed and in­ter­preted.

There have been many in­gre­di­ents in the Bron­cos re­newed tack­ling vigour and the stur­di­ness of their de­fen­sive line this win­ter.

It was the first qual­ity that Wayne Ben­nett and his as­sis­tant coaches worked on in the off-sea­son. They re­built the team back to front.

Ben­nett em­pha­sised the sim­ple mes­sage to be ac­count­able for your­self. Don’t worry about the next man. Do your job.

But footage taken by the drones and sub­se­quently re­viewed by the coach­ing staff has en­sured ev­ery man knows where he should be.

“They are great,’’ Wal­ters said. The play­ers cer­tainly en­joy the vi­sion. It high­lights a lot of things.

“It’s very help­ful be­cause it is end-on-end footage. A lot of to­day’s game is about play­ing straight and di­rectly down the field. Most of the clubs are us­ing them now. It is a lit­tle per­cent­age ad­van­tage we can give to the play­ers.”

The $5000 drones are supplied by a com­pany called Droneit, of which for­mer Sheffield Shield bats­man Lee Carsel­dine is a founder and Bron­cos leg­end Dar­ren Lock­yer a part-owner.

Some clubs have used cherry pick­ers and cranes but the drones have pro­vided footage which is closer to the ac­tion.

Wal­ters is a fan, where pos­si­ble, of watch­ing the game be­hind the goal­posts and left the coaches’ box in Syd­ney last week for a rare visit be­hind the sticks.

“It’s al­ways good to watch from the end of the ground – all coaches would prob­a­bly do it if they could,” he said.

“It was not planned. It was just there was no one sit­ting there so I went down there and took my phone with me … you couldn’t do it if peo­ple were sit­ting around you.”

 ??  ?? UP THERE: A drone at work at Bron­cos train­ing.
UP THERE: A drone at work at Bron­cos train­ing.

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