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Editor: Simon, you’re coaching both the Youth and Men’s team this year. Can you let people know your thinking about coaching both squads together?
Simon: I want to be able to promote the youth players into the men’s squad so coaching both teams gives me the opportunity to see if the youth players are up to the standard and also deliver the same message to both squads so they know what is expected of them.
Editor: Last year’s Youth squad won the title but we have only two lads returning from that squad with Jake McGing playing for West Sydney Wanderers and others choosing not to return. The good news is you have 4 of last year’s very successful 16 Boys progressing into the squad. How competitive do you think the boys will be?
Simon: It is exciting to see that Jake has been rewarded for his hard work over the years and disappointing to not be able to see him play for Quake. He is a good player with a good head on his shoulders and a credit to his parents. Last year is last year: how the under 16’s performed then means nothing now. They need to prove themselves in this age group. I think that we will go alright this season and give all teams that we play a good run for their money. I’d like to make the semis and then see how we progress from there.
Editor: The squad is almost finalised. Can you give us your thoughts on the players in the team?
Simon: I’m happy with the squad that I have selected and all I ask is that the players give their best when they play and that they turn up to training. Hopefully they all want to improve and grow as players and push for opportunities to play in the men’s games on a Saturday night.
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Editor: The team is finally taking some shape and they looked fairly sharp in their opening rounds with limited training and quite a few players missing. What do you hope to achieve this year?
Simon: I’m happy with the players that are in the squad. It’s a developing year for this team with only 4 field players are left from last year. They know that they need to step up and take control of the game and guide the young players coming through. Again I’d like to think that we can make the semi’s and push forward from there.
Editor: Can they win the title? Is this the main objective for the year?
Simon: They just won the State Titles so winning the title this year is not impossible. They can win it, to do that they will need to pull their socks up and start finishing their opportunities in games. The main objective for me is to develop the younger players coming through so that in the future Quake have a strong list of teams in all age groups. This has been spoken about with the Academy, U/12’s, U/14’s and U/16’s Boys coaches.
Much similar to the way that Dural run their squads, I want to integrate the coaching down the line so that when players go up in age groups they have an understanding of what is required technically and tactically.
Editor: Lots of Quake stalwarts are in the team with a mix of new players. Can we have a quick rundown on the players?
GK – Shane Borg is the best club man that I have seen. So unselfish with his time and is always willing to do what is best for the team.
GK – Oliver Lawton is back from the UK and is still attempting to get into shape. Good keeper on his day and always good to have in your squad to lighten the mood.
GK – Gavin O’Brien is currently away with the Australian Men’s squad at the World Cup. On his day I believe he is the best keeper in the country. At 35 he is fitter now than he was at 25.
Pivot – Ian McAndrew: this is his best position as he is too fat to move anywhere hence the word PIVOT. Macca needs to get fit before we see the best of him. He is a good reader of the game and has a good passing game to match.
Pivot – Scott Madden is new to the club and the boys have advised me that he got “ranga” of the tournament at the weekends state titles. He is getting better week to week.
Flanker – Dean Lockhart has played at Quake since he was 10. Good to have around and I am expecting him to step up and lead by example this year.
Flanker – Mark Symington has also been at the club for years coming through the age groups. Good speed around the court is his asset, he has the ability to turn defence into attack really quickly. Needs to score more goals for the amount of opportunities he gets in games.
Flanker – Josh Curtain is only young and has some good skills and the ability to beat a player. Needs to learn when to play the simple ball.
Target – Harley Da Silva came up from the Youth last year and he is gradually improving with time and is a quiet achiever.
Target – Danny Martinez is our target. Unfortunately milk turns quicker than him. He is quick to advise me how many he scores and even quicker to forget how many he costs me. Danny holds the ball up well and creates opportunities for his team mates. He is technically the best ball player in the team with the most skills. Is sometimes selfish and needs to play others in when they are in better positions but is always looking to score, exactly what you want from the man up top.
Editor: What style of game will we see from this team this year?
Simon: Hopefully a style better than the first 3 weeks of the Premier League.