LITTLE THINGS are big things
The preparation and attention to detail he delivers is so in-depth.Â Right down to the things that others might consider little.
Throw-ins matter. You work on them every week depending on who you are playing against. Kick-offs matter. You try to score from the kick-off every week. You study how the opposition sets up and every opportunity and detail is looked at. WeÂ would work on a new kick-off, specific for who we were playing against.
The most impressive thing for me about him and his coaching career is heâ€™s probably tried three or four different styles with six different squads heâ€™s been successful with. His knowledge as a coach, to be able to play different ways with different players, players that people maybe didnâ€™t think were that good but be able to build them back into being top players, as a coach I think thatâ€™s his best quality.
Okay he hasnâ€™t won a grand final. I feel like the evolution that Tonyâ€™s teams and styles go through is very impressive. The first few seasons super-defensive counter-attack, then possession, now he plays with a back three. Itâ€™s constant evolution.
I think everyone expected what heâ€™s doing at Perth. Once he went there and everyone saw the players he was recruiting, they had them as a top-two team, potential champions and Premierâ€™s Plate winners. But itâ€™s a big ask to be able to do that starting from scratch with a new group of players and new system.Â The expectation on him was high and so far heâ€™s delivered.
WHAT CAN I DO BETTER?
I retired from football 10 months ago and have been doing some TV in Malaysia as a presenter on the EPL. It was a massive learning curve but also invaluable experience that I wasnâ€™t going to be able to get straightaway in Australia. At minimum, itâ€™s taught me a lot of skills and hopefully itâ€™s something I can build on.
The EPL is massive in Malaysia, much bigger than the domestic game, and you can get 500k viewers for games. The timing helps, the early kick-offs can be 7.30pm so thereâ€™s a big culture of going to bars, or cafes and itâ€™s on everywhere. The standard of the venueÂ doesnâ€™t matter â€“ if itâ€™s classy or a couple of deck chairs in the car park, itâ€™s on everywhere.
There is a Liverpool supporter group dinner at the end of this season and 3000 people have booked tickets.
Iâ€™ve always had an interest in media work. Itâ€™s easy for a lot of athletes to say, ‘when I finish I want to work in mediaâ€™. Iâ€™m very conscious of people not looking at me in a serious way. Iâ€™m always looking for feedback. â€?What can I do better?â€™ I want to improve. I want to be the best I can be at it and, if itâ€™s not good enough, then Iâ€™ve done everything I can. I want to produce my own content as well. I understand thereâ€™s a lot of learning for me to do before I can do that because I have a lot of ideas, I donâ€™t want to mess them up.
I really want to base myself where someone sees a bit of a future for me in terms of being a presenter or a host. Iâ€™ve just arrived back and Iâ€™m looking to get my face out there a bit more and do a lot of different things, but the end game is to present because I feel in Australian sport, ex-players present but not that much in football.
Everyone tells me how difficult it is and I get that, but becoming an international footballer is difficult too and I did that, so Iâ€™m going to back myself. I go into it with the same attitude.
I donâ€™t have the same desire to follow a path into coaching.
The only reason Iâ€™d get my coaching badges is to see the game differently. Who knows, at some stage an opportunity might present itself but at this stage I donâ€™t see myself being a coach. Maybe at a local level, but I just think it gives you more credibility as a coach or pundit if youâ€™ve got a coaching licence.
I just know when I try to wrap my head around coaching and planning training sessions, it doesnâ€™t interest me. Itâ€™s like anything in life.
Investments, for example. Iâ€™ve always said Iâ€™ve no interest in or idea about shares, so I would never invest in them. If you donâ€™t have an interest or passion, then itâ€™s not going to work.