The Robins have locked in their senior Men’s coaches for the 2022 season, with David Ruddock and Chris Jones set to resume their roles as co-coaches for the League side, while Brent King will again coach the Reserves team.
For Ruddock and Jones, 2022 will technically be their third season in charge (excluding the null and void season of 2020). They both said they’re enjoying their roles and keen to keep improving the club.
“With me, it’s had a lot to do with COVID over the last two years and just weren’t happy with how it all resulted this year,” said Ruddock. “I’m happy out here, very happy out here. I love being out at the club – the boys are great and I reckon we’ve got some unfinished business to do.”
Jones said he is really enjoying the experience.
“It’s the people I’m working with,” he said. “I’m enjoying seeing the improvement in the club and in the team, and pretty happy to see that continue.”
For King and his Reserves side, he’s driven by unfinished business and a hunger to get the ultimate prize in football. The year of 2021 was his first season in charge, and, despite a frustrating end to the season, he said he’s really enjoying coaching and learning from the clubs other coaches.
“It’s a really disappointing end to the season,” he said. “Obviously, playing basically a full season and not being able to get two extra games in at the end definitely hurt. But I feel that we were right up there and would’ve really challenged for that premiership as well.
“I feel these guys (Ruddock and Jones) were definitely a big part of where the Reserves side got to as well. Basically, I feel that the coaches who’ve come before me have set up a good foundation as well, but with these guys helping me out every step of the way I feel next year is going to be a really good year for the club.”
The coaches of the League side were relatively happy with their 2021 season, believing they were peaking at the right time, should finals have been played.
“I believe we were right on the money,” said Ruddock. “The timing was right and I was reasonably confident that we were going to get two premierships out of it (Seniors and Reserves). Although South would’ve been very confident in themselves, I reckon the timing was right and we were coming right at the right time of the year.”
However, they anticipate their biggest hurdle heading into season 2022 will be rebuilding motivation.
“The hardest part is going to be getting motivated for a third time after suffering an interrupted season,” said Jones. “I think there’s a lot of guys who were down at the start of last year (2021 season) after missing one.
“I think our biggest job this year is … just to get guys back up and into loving football again after disappointing seasons of missing finals and missing seasons altogether. I think we’ll let the boys’ talent and football skills speak for itself.”
In terms of a main focus for the 2022 season, all three coaches shared the goal of a premiership, but also will aim to further improve their players.
“We just want to keep on improving, with the premiership being a goal in both grades, but it’s mainly the improvement of the players and get them to play the best possible level they can play,” said Ruddock.
“A premiership is always the goal,” said Jones. “But, as Rudds said, I think just seeing the continued improvement on the field – West has always been strong off the field, but the reason we first come here was to try and improve things on the field, and we want to see that continue as our major goal and get some sustained competitiveness,”
“There’s unfinished business,” said King, “especially for myself and a lot of the older Reserves players. There’s fire in our bellies and, with the young kids coming through, it’s exciting, so we’ll have another crack.”
The West Football Club will soon advertise the available coaching positions for Women’s, Under 18s, and Auskick through to Under 15s.
The Robins are planning to host their senior Presentation Night on Friday December 10 to recognise the club’s award winners from the 2021 season.