PAIN OF WEAK DE­FENCE

The Weekend Post - - Sport -

Q I am too young to re­mem­ber you as a player but your rep­u­ta­tion was of a hard-nosed de­fender that did all the dirty work. How hard was it for much of this sea­son when your play­ers did not show that same at­ti­tude? A I think we have im­proved de­fen­sively through the sea­son and I think a big part of that is us play­ing to­gether more. There is an aware­ness and a tough­ness now. Melo Trim­ble (right) and Devon Hall came in and were two young guys who had not played in the league be­fore. I do not think guys know how good the league is un­til they are here. And, I think see­ing it on a daily ba­sis, they have seen it now and they have stepped up over the sea­son. It is go­ing to be great for them over their ca­reers. Us play­ing to­gether more and be­ing to­gether has helped us on the de­fen­sive end. Guys have taken a stand more and Melo and Devon have done that. They have tried to do a bet­ter job, as have some of the other guys. But yes, it has driven me crazy when we are not great on de­fence. There has been games when we have not been good on de­fence and of­fence. Some­times we are good on both too. It is a process. Q We see it in the AFL where a rookie coach will get a se­nior vet­eran as­sis­tant coach to help them. Is that some­thing, in hind­sight, that you would have liked? That is not a knock on Jamie O’Lough­lin and Brad Hill who are youngish as well. A Jamie has been great and I trusted him be­fore I got the job, work­ing to­gether at the World Univer­sity Games. Brad has been great, too. But, to an­swer your ques­tion, I touch base with loads of coach­ing friends over the sea­son and that in­put has been im­por­tant to me. You need that in­put from peo­ple you know and trust.

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