Q&A with Jarrad Schofield

What do you see currently as the strengths of Subiaco?

There's a good mix of the younger fellas, senior blokes and there's some blokes that have obviously been on the injured list that are going to come off that in [Brad Stevenson] and [Nathan] Phillips, Robbie Forrest, [Ben] Randall, [Chris] Phelan. They obviously add a little more strength to the group and also the exciting part is some of the young fellas, the young fellas that I coached 12 months ago that have probably had a taste of league football, can probably see opportunities ahead of themselves. With the way the colts finished off the year there are a couple of good young kids coming through there, there's a good mix. Just got to get them all out on the park, so I'm actually really excited about all aspects coming together.

What areas need to be addressed?

Our midfield and that's no disrespect to the guys we've got in there. Your [Jason] Bristows, guys like Robbie Forrest have gone through there as well, [Reece Blechynden] went through there, these guys need help in the midfield and I think that's the area that we need to address in terms in recruiting or developing guys into midfielders. That's definitely one area that I look to bolster because at either end of the ground I think we're pretty capable.

Anything else we look to recruit?

No. I think for me it's anywhere in the midfield group and it goes from being an inside midfielder to being an outside midfielder to a ruckman, that whole midfield group. That's the main area I want to improve. I would say there is some good quality players there if we can get them on the park, but it's an area I think we need to add to.

You are an AFL premiership player and played in the hat trick at Subiaco, how will you return that culture of success to the club?

It gets back to just commitment and discipline to adhere to training, their preparation, their professionalism in terms of how they handle themselves at training to get the best out of themselves. A message that I gave to the group in my first meeting with them was that they've got to come here with a purpose to actually want to improve. That's from the youngest player the to most senior play. If you're not here to improve year-by-year then you're probably wasting your time. There's always areas to improve in your game as a player. So for me it's going to be discipline, self-involvement, about just commitment and work ethic to the program. If you tie in all of those things it's only going to create a foundation for success around the club. When you've got success you've got enjoyment around the club. As much as it's going to be a pretty brutal pre-season and a hard pre-season I think it's going to be one that all of the boys will jump on board and adapt to.

What do you think you think your strengths are as a coach?

I think one is I'm pretty approachable in terms of wanting feedback. Feedback as a player, if I was player I'd want that and as a coach I think I can deliver that. One [is that] I'm pretty hard in terms of high expectations and always striving for the best, so I'll be pushing guys pretty hard in wanting to improve themselves once again, but also to raise their standards from previous years and I'll be pretty brutal and honest in that assessment of players and some might like it, others thrive on that. But I know one thing that I'll always have the player's best interest at heart and that's probably a strength of mine that I've always got their interest at heart and if that means being hard and honest with them, training them hard in terms of feedback, well I'll do that to make sure I get the best out of them.

What did you learn in your time at Claremont?

The biggest thing was working as an assistant because in previous years I was the senior coach. Working as an assistant coach under other coaches you understand the different dynamics that go into coaches boxes on a game day. You know how to handle pressure situations a little bit differently, but just going away to a different football club is an experience in itself because you meet new people, you pick up ideas along the way on how people prepare and you see how players prepare themselves as well. You look at that and you draw the lines and parallels between the players that succeed and the players that don't and hopefully you can instill that into the football players at this football club.

If you were to liken yourself to another coach who would it be?

That's a bit of a tough question. [I'm] looking at the Scott brothers. When I say the Scott brothers I think they seem from the exterior that they seem to be hard but fair. They're hard on their players and they expect high standards to be delivered from the player group and I think at the same time they seem approachable and they have the respect of the players. We can cop a serve or cop the hard work from the coach but on the other hand we can actually go have a one-on-one chat whether it be about football or personal, whatever it is. I look at those two brothers and they look like they have that relationship and that bond with the players and that's one thing that hopefully I can build here.

What are the non-negotiable with Jarrad Schofield?

There will be KPIs in terms of things they have to tick off in terms of pre-season training. There will be certain aspects or certain standards they have to meet in testings, skinfolds, fitness testings, commitment to the program, and the amount of sessions they have to complete before round one. If they don't then they run themselves the risk of not being selected and this will be same rules for the youngest bloke to the oldest blokes. Non-negotiables? Not presenting themselves in the right manner to training, mid-week drinking, all that sort of stuff. All those sorts of things will correlate into one and hopefully we get the results for it. There will be some things that will go along the way that we will touch on as a playing group and as a coaching group, but the main one is that I'll be stressing to the boys is the amount of sessions to be an elite footballer, to be an elite football club, that this team must commit to and complete before round one. That is the big thing that I'll be drilling into them. The boys already know this and understanding that if they can't they run the risk of not being in the playing group at this football club let alone being selected for round one in the ones. At the same time they have the opportunity to make up these sessions with extra sessions, so you'll see the people that are then committed to the Subiaco football club and that's the one thing we are trying to instill in the playing group. 

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