Greg Wellington has returned to Central Magpies Football Club as head coach, following a year’s hiatus, ready for the 2024 AFL Broken Hill campaign. Wellington expressed his elation to the Barrier Truth about his return.
“It means a lot. I had a couple of good years there, then took the break, and now I have another opportunity to have a go at it,” said Coach Wellington.
Prioritising a confident mindset is paramount to Wellington’s coaching style and tops his to-do list on the first day of preseason.
“I need to get them into a competitive mindset where they believe they belong on the field with the other three teams. My philosophy, ever since I started coaching, has been ‘once they believe they’re competitive, the wins will take care of themselves.'”
Even though Wellington wasn’t in the hot seat for the 2023 season, he remained closely involved in footy. He attended most of Central’s matches and watched various other teams in the competition.
“I got to most of Central’s matches, and I also went to watch other teams play. It was good to see them through different lenses. It was great to sit back and enjoy what some of the other clubs are doing in the competition,” he added.
Wellington is optimistic about the quality of footy in Broken Hill. “The state of the competition is really good. It was a real eye-opener to sit back and watch all the clubs, and now I am really looking forward to steering Central to be a bit more competitive.”
Armed with insights from a season of observation, Wellington admits the club needs to rebuild during the off-season. This involves luring back former players and attracting fresh talent to the Magpies’ nest.
“We want to try and lure some of the guys who disappeared last year back to the club. We aim to go on a recruiting drive and attract as many talented footballers as we can to buy into the idea of helping rebuild the club.”
Another key component of the plan is a complete overhaul of the senior coaching structure. The Central board has given Wellington the authority to manage this change.
“My role will be a little different; I won’t just be coaching the senior team. I’ll be overseeing coaches all the way down to the junior level. The coaching staff will focus more on an overview rather than on the first or second teams.”
Education and retention will be two pillars that Wellington aims to instil, not just in the senior squad, but in the entire club.
“We want to make the game enjoyable for players. We want to keep them coming back. That is what we will focus on.”