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LITTLE THINGS are big things

The preparation and attention to detail he delivers is so in-depth.  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. We 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 he’s probably tried three or four different styles with six different squads he’s been successful with. His knowledge as a coach, to be able to play different ways with different players, players that people maybe didn’t think were that good but be able to build them back into being top players, as a coach I think that’s his best quality.

 

Okay he hasn’t won a grand final. I feel like the evolution that Tony’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. It’s constant evolution.

 

I think everyone expected what he’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 Premier’s Plate winners. But it’s a big ask to be able to do that starting from scratch with a new group of players and new system. The expectation on him was high and so far he’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 wasn’t going to be able to get straightaway in Australia. At minimum, it’s taught me a lot of skills and hopefully it’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 there’s a big culture of going to bars, or cafes and it’s on everywhere. The standard of the venue doesn’t matter – if it’s classy or a couple of deck chairs in the car park, it’s on everywhere.

There is a Liverpool supporter group dinner at the end of this season and 3000 people have booked tickets.

 

I’ve always had an interest in media work. It’s easy for a lot of athletes to say, ‘when I finish I want to work in media’. I’m very conscious of people not looking at me in a serious way. I’m always looking for feedback. ?What can I do better?’ I want to improve. I want to be the best I can be at it and, if it’s not good enough, then I’ve done everything I can. I want to produce my own content as well. I understand there’s a lot of learning for me to do before I can do that because I have a lot of ideas, I don’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. I’ve just arrived back and I’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 I’m going to back myself. I go into it with the same attitude.

 

I don’t have the same desire to follow a path into coaching.

 

The only reason I’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 don’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 you’ve got a coaching licence.

 

I just know when I try to wrap my head around coaching and planning training sessions, it doesn’t interest me. It’s like anything in life.

 

Investments, for example. I’ve always said I’ve no interest in or idea about shares, so I would never invest in them. If you don’t have an interest or passion, then it’s not going to work.

 

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