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BILL'S GRILL – ROUND 15

Friday, July 5, 2013 - 2:27 PM
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IT WAS really important this year with the loss of experience that we've had that we got a lot out of our leadership group.

Most of those have been around for a while now and then losing Jason as well for a significant part of the season so far has really put pressure on the next layer which Luke Tedesco, Jay van Berlo and Ray Bartholomew as our vice-captains have really taken the challenge on, and shown the way.
We also have some other experienced guys especially down back in Michael Pettigrew and Dan Hunt as well as Steven Browne, Jordan Jones and Andrew Strijk, and they have been influential in the way we've played. They have all had good impact on the games and have already had an impact off the field with their leadership.
We are always trying to find the next level of leaders and I think Marc Crisp has been outstanding, Aaron Black is improving in that area and Laine Rasmussen is a future leader of our football club. We have tried to spread the load to make sure that everyone's playing their part and making sure that it all works for us on game day.
Players are always motivated and seeing other successful people from our club and our organisation really drives players, and our experienced players are no different. There is a lot made about us not having won a final since 2003 but I'm not sure that it really plays on the player's minds at all to be honest.
We can look back and reflect on those finals, and not all the guys who are playing in our side now have played finals footy. It was not that long ago that there was a big focus on Claremont losing four grand finals in-a-row but that has gone out the window now that they have won a couple of premierships.
People look for reasons and obstacles to work out why we haven’t won finals, but the bottom line is that we have played some finals, and come up short but that's all part of our learning. I'm sure our players whether they be experienced players or new to the system will learn from a range of opportunities. I would much prefer to have played finals and lost than not to have played finals at all.
Luke Tedesco plays his 100th game this week and he is an outstanding young man, and a great leader of our football club. That's not only through leading well through his actions, but his understanding of the game and what is required around our football club is fantastic. He will probably admit that he's probably not the most talented player and he has limitations, but he is a great example of players playing within their limitations.
He does a role for us each week and his greatest strength is his aggression and attack on the football. He kicks the ball well and marks the ball well. He isn’t a superstar, but he's nearly our first picked every week because of what he brings to the table. It's a great achievement to reach 100 games and we expect that there is a lot more left in the tank for Luke Tedesco after this weekend.
Matt Guadagnin is an outstanding individual and his preparation for someone who has to travel from the country two or three times a week to present himself in the condition that he does, and then the influence he has on our player group and on game day, is outstanding. We really think that in that time after breaking his leg in 2011 when things were going quite well for us he was a significant loss, and he has battled a range of issues since then like people do when they have leg breaks.
It's quite a significant thing to get over and he still has some on-going issues with his leg, mainly around the Achilles and calf as a result of the break, but his last four or five weeks have been outstanding. That's the type of footy we know he is capable of and he now needs to maintain that, and keep working hard like we know he will. If he wants to play he could play for another couple of years after this as well because of his physical conditioning.
Hunt and Pettigrew are both great examples of having a better pre-season. One of the real issues we had a couple of years ago on the back of the year we fell away was that we limped to the end of the season, and that we had a significant number of post-season injuries so we had to manage loads over pre-season. Dan and Michael have been able to get a lot more volume into their training, and they are great examples that you need to have the base behind you and the work load into you to allow you during the season to modify training and make sure that you are not overworking guys.
Their form has been outstanding but as I keep saying to everyone that can change quickly and we can't reflect too much on what we've done. We can only try to control what we have got in front of us whether that's this week against Peel and then a bye when we will reassess again, and tackle each opponent as they come. The players are really grounded at the moment and we know there is a lot of hard work still to be done.
We've had three or four injuries most weeks this year and there has been blokes coming in and out of the side, but we are actually excited that down the track Jason will come back. He played a game of reserves last week even though it was just 60 minutes and he will play reserves again this week. Hopefully that will get him cherry ripe for after the bye.
Ray has been out for a while now, Hutchy has been in and out of the side, Johnson has had a bit of an injury, Manning is another and we think there are probably six or seven blokes who have missed significant parts of the year. We think that if we get to full strength we should only improve again and that competition for places and a bit of rivalry within the group should hold us in good stead.
We have another milestone game this weekend with Luke Tedesco and it's a really difficult one about how to handle it. The player personally wants to keep it low key because they know it's about the team. Whilst they are great achievements, it's something that you don’t spend that much time reflecting on during a season. It's probably not until after the season or even after your career when you sit back and reflect on things like that and think how good of an achievement it is.
We try to keep it fairly low key but at the same time keeping it respectful to the player and the milestone itself whether it's 100 games, 150 or like Jason last year 200. We have to make mention of it and we have to recognise it, but it's not a huge thing and I don’t think that's a lot different to most games. We still have a game to win and that takes precedence over everything.
BY BILL MONAGHANIT WAS really important this year with the loss of experience that we've had that we got a lot out of our leadership group.

Most of those have been around for a while now and then losing Jason as well for a significant part of the season so far has really put pressure on the next layer which Luke Tedesco, Jay van Berlo and Ray Bartholomew as our vice-captains have really taken the challenge on, and shown the way.

We also have some other experienced guys especially down back in Michael Pettigrew and Dan Hunt as well as Steven Browne, Jordan Jones and Andrew Strijk, and they have been influential in the way we've played. They have all had good impact on the games and have already had an impact off the field with their leadership.

We are always trying to find the next level of leaders and I think Marc Crisp has been outstanding, Aaron Black is improving in that area and Laine Rasmussen is a future leader of our football club. We have tried to spread the load to make sure that everyone's playing their part and making sure that it all works for us on game day.

Players are always motivated and seeing other successful people from our club and our organisation really drives players, and our experienced players are no different. There is a lot made about us not having won a final since 2003 but I'm not sure that it really plays on the player's minds at all to be honest.

We can look back and reflect on those finals, and not all the guys who are playing in our side now have played finals footy. It was not that long ago that there was a big focus on Claremont losing four grand finals in-a-row but that has gone out the window now that they have won a couple of premierships.

People look for reasons and obstacles to work out why we haven’t won finals, but the bottom line is that we have played some finals, and come up short but that's all part of our learning. I'm sure our players whether they be experienced players or new to the system will learn from a range of opportunities. I would much prefer to have played finals and lost than not to have played finals at all.

Luke Tedesco plays his 100th game this week and he is an outstanding young man, and a great leader of our football club. That's not only through leading well through his actions, but his understanding of the game and what is required around our football club is fantastic. He will probably admit that he's probably not the most talented player and he has limitations, but he is a great example of players playing within their limitations.

He does a role for us each week and his greatest strength is his aggression and attack on the football. He kicks the ball well and marks the ball well. He isn’t a superstar, but he's nearly our first picked every week because of what he brings to the table. It's a great achievement to reach 100 games and we expect that there is a lot more left in the tank for Luke Tedesco after this weekend.

Matt Guadagnin is an outstanding individual and his preparation for someone who has to travel from the country two or three times a week to present himself in the condition that he does, and then the influence he has on our player group and on game day, is outstanding. We really think that in that time after breaking his leg in 2011 when things were going quite well for us he was a significant loss, and he has battled a range of issues since then like people do when they have leg breaks.

It's quite a significant thing to get over and he still has some on-going issues with his leg, mainly around the Achilles and calf as a result of the break, but his last four or five weeks have been outstanding. That's the type of footy we know he is capable of and he now needs to maintain that, and keep working hard like we know he will. If he wants to play he could play for another couple of years after this as well because of his physical conditioning.

Hunt and Pettigrew are both great examples of having a better pre-season. One of the real issues we had a couple of years ago on the back of the year we fell away was that we limped to the end of the season, and that we had a significant number of post-season injuries so we had to manage loads over pre-season. Dan and Michael have been able to get a lot more volume into their training, and they are great examples that you need to have the base behind you and the work load into you to allow you during the season to modify training and make sure that you are not overworking guys.

Their form has been outstanding but as I keep saying to everyone that can change quickly and we can't reflect too much on what we've done. We can only try to control what we have got in front of us whether that's this week against Peel and then a bye when we will reassess again, and tackle each opponent as they come. The players are really grounded at the moment and we know there is a lot of hard work still to be done.

We've had three or four injuries most weeks this year and there has been blokes coming in and out of the side, but we are actually excited that down the track Jason will come back. He played a game of reserves last week even though it was just 60 minutes and he will play reserves again this week. Hopefully that will get him cherry ripe for after the bye.

Ray has been out for a while now, Hutchy has been in and out of the side, Johnson has had a bit of an injury, Manning is another and we think there are probably six or seven blokes who have missed significant parts of the year. We think that if we get to full strength we should only improve again and that competition for places and a bit of rivalry within the group should hold us in good stead.

We have another milestone game this weekend with Luke Tedesco and it's a really difficult one about how to handle it. The player personally wants to keep it low key because they know it's about the team. Whilst they are great achievements, it's something that you don’t spend that much time reflecting on during a season. It's probably not until after the season or even after your career when you sit back and reflect on things like that and think how good of an achievement it is.

We try to keep it fairly low key but at the same time keeping it respectful to the player and the milestone itself whether it's 100 games, 150 or like Jason last year 200. We have to make mention of it and we have to recognise it, but it's not a huge thing and I don’t think that's a lot different to most games. We still have a game to win and that takes precedence over everything.

BY BILL MONAGHAN