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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