Shepparton News

Angus Robertson books in coaching career

- By Laura Green

Tom Doyle is passing the baton to a new Finley coach who was recommende­d for the top job because of his vast experience.

Angus Robertson is a former Western Australian Football League player who played for the Cats in his junior years.

And he says getting the seniors to a grand final next year is his mission.

Personal and profession­al experience makes Robertson a modern and ambitious fit for the club, which finished second last on the ladder this season.

Robertson got his start with the Cats’ juniors from age 15 to 17 before competing in Geelong Football League for St Mary’s School.

When visiting home in 2016 to see Finley play in the Murray Football League grand final, Robertson was dismayed to see his home team lose.

“From there I was pretty upset and I was so determined to one day come home and play for Finley and help them win a grand final,” Robertson said.

In 2018, Robertson attended Deakin University in Geelong, studying sport science. He then returned to Finley and coached the under-17s, his first experience as a coach.

“It was interestin­g. I learned a lot about dealing with different abilities and learning how everyone is so different and learns in a different way,” Robertson said.

The Cats’ seniors earned another shot at finals that year, “but it didn’t work out”.

A university friend asked Robertson to try his luck at the WAFL, so he travelled to WA to interview for a job and tried out for the state league with success.

While playing for the “dominant” Claremont Tigers in the 2019 season, Robertson “learned a lot” from other players and coaches.

He played his second half of the season with the A-grade amateur outfit, resulting in a grand final trophy which kept the fire burning.

Robertson returned to Finley and played for the seniors under Doyle this season.

Doyle’s advice for the incoming coach is “stay humble, learn as much as you can, getgood people around you and keep learning on the job”.

“If he’s able to take on knowledge and keep pushing then he’ll do well,” Doyle said.

On his decision to accept a coaching role, Robertson said the club had given him a great sense of community, and he “wanted to pay that back”.

“And to be able to do that with something I love, then that’s a double bonus,” Robertson said.

Recruitmen­t and training plans are still in the early stages, but Robertson wants tomake gains on his team’s fitness with an early start to running before training kicks off.

He also wants to introduce analytic technology using video and GPS to record training and games.

The technology will allow Robertson to collect statistics on players and their skills, along with providing a visual aid for teaching his team.

“Those things can help us move forward as a team. Rather than explaining to them and not have it go through, I can use a visual aid to teach them,” he said.

He said while the modern equipment was nice, it all came back to personal connection and the community that can be found at Finley.

“I think one thing about a good coach is understand­ing each person he’s coaching and trying to get the best out of each individual. That creates a team that is not scared to make mistakes and put their best foot forward, and so each member can try to get the best out of their own ability as a footballer.”

Robertson said his wide range of experience was a major influence on his coaching style.

“I learned a lot in WA in regards to leadership and developmen­t, game styles and tactics and playing at a high level, and I would like to bring that back to the country level,” Robertson said.

“One thing I learnt from Michael Taylor — a Finley local who developed our juniors for a number of years — is that your worst player is as good as your best.

“It’s something I’m passionate about and I love the great support network at the club.

“And I want to get as many homegrown players on side as I can.”

 ??  ?? Changing of the guard: Angus Robertson (left) is taking over Finley’s senior coaching role from Tom Doyle (right).
Changing of the guard: Angus Robertson (left) is taking over Finley’s senior coaching role from Tom Doyle (right).

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