KOROIT is turning to Western Bulldogs coach Brendan McCartney and former AFL champions Cameron Ling and Sean Wellman to inspire its leaders ahead of the new Hampden Football Netball League season.
Coach Adam Dowie has planned a two-day Melbourne trip for the Saints’ leadership group this week, which will include sessions with McCartney, Box Hill Hawks coach Damian Carroll, Ling and Wellman.
Former Saints playing coach Chris McLaren, captain Ben Goodall, brothers Ben and Sam Dobson, Brett Harrington and Tauryan Zimmer, who make up the club’s leadership group, will accompany Dowie to Melbourne tomorrow and Saturday.
“It’s professional development for our leadership group,” Dowie said.
“We are going to ramp up their roles and responsibilities from the last couple of years. They are going to be having pretty significant roles. The boys are looking forward to doing it.”
Dowie, who has a strong relationship with McCartney, said the Bulldogs coach had more to offer than just his experience at the elite level.
“He’s coached country footy. You can talk about the AFL stuff but he knows what you are facing as a country coach.”
The emphasis on expanding the horizons of the club’s leadership group is part of Dowie’s approach to his first season in charge at Victoria Park.
Instead of survival-style pre-season training camps, Dowie is organising a camp for Koroit’s list in Melbourne in March in an AFL and/or VFL environment.
“We are just trying to open their eyes to how they do things at the elite level,” Dowie said.
“I know a lot of clubs do their survival stuff or down at the beach but we want to try and have a culture at Koroit focused on self-improvement and we will do that by looking at how they do that at the elite level.”
He said the continual improvement plan was part of working with “what you’ve got” and building sides.
Dowie said the Saints had recruited exciting teenager Jayden Brennan to their list along with Zimmer’s brother Ethan, an athletic, tall key position player, who had relocated from Southport in the QAFL.