Thursday, 30 June 2016
Subiaco’s young Colts have navigated a hard passage of development in 2016 but are looking to end the season strongly.
Player Development Officer Neil Arnold is optimistic with the groups’ progress and remains positive heading into the final stretch of the season.
“The group has shown a lot of improvement over the last month or so in particular. The guys are gelling a bit more, it’s been a tough year but they’ve been really resilient,” said Arnold
“The added help we’ve gotten from Todd Breman and Paul Lawrence has helped a lot alongside the energy Mike Pannell has brought into the head coaching job. He’s well engaged with the group and set very clear standards. “
A lack of wins for the Colts can be put into perspective when you look at the positives and the development of the playing group.
“The focus of the program is solely for the development of our young players.”
“Winning is nice and we are seeing the right habits developing, but to us the key importance is that we develop long-term players for the Subiaco Football Club,” said Arnold
“13 players transitioned from the Colts program to senior football this year and we’re hoping to keep that constant stream of talent coming through the ranks.”
“We’ve got a few Colts boys, which we’ll look to play in the reserves towards the end of the season to give them experience.” Said Arnold
Mike Pannell absorbed the head coaching role during season 2016
The program underwent a coaching change halfway through the season with Sean Wrigley resigning after a year in charge. Assistant Mike Pannell stood up to fill the role and Arnold has been impressed with his impact so far.
“It’s never ideal to lose a coach in the middle of a season but Mike (Pannell) has come in and done a really impressive job. He’s set clear standards based on what he expects from the group and it’s been a good outcome in a trying circumstance,” said Arnold
There is a lot to be said for the players that have stood up despite losing every game in 2016. Arnold believes you can learn a lot from players when the chips are down.
“It shows a lot about the character and resilience of the player when they’re under pressure. The results haven’t gone our way this year but it’s been amazing seeing the young playing group banding together and working together to get better,” said Arnold
A trying 2016 campaign has allowed the Colts to blood in a host of youngsters. Subi have played 47 total Colts players in 2016 and Arnold acknowledged a couple of those emerging stars.
“There have been some standouts amongst the younger players. We really like Liam Connolly and how he goes about it. He had a late start because of injuries but has really caught the attention of the coaches in the backline,”
“Mitch Crew has impressed as a young guy. He’s only played a few games but there’s a lot to like about his game. Jye Harris has been another one that’s been outstanding; he came to us from Esperance as a forward and has ended up excelling in the midfield,”
“Max Dennis has been consistent and the youngster Liam Hickmott has played really well since his debut,”
“Ruck project Ashton Williamson has shown progress. There’s a lot to like about the kid, he’s 204 centimetres and has good skills and agility,”
“Although he’s not necessarily a new player we were impressed by Mckenzie Lawrence. Mckenzie absorbed the captain role and led the team with his heart and soul until his shoulder injury.” Said Arnold
Mckenzie Lawrence sends the Lions forward against the Royals.
With seven games left in the season Neil Arnold and the Subiaco coaching staff are only concerned about the development of the young squad.
“We just want to see further development. The obvious pressure would be to win a game before the end of the year but if the players concentrate on training and getting better the results will come,” Arnold said
“You can see vast improvements in our key performance indicators and we’re tightening up parts of our game, which is coinciding with us being able to compete on the scoreboard.”