Monday 14 March 2011
New Broadbeach coach Matt Angus is working on bringing a whole new level of professionalism to the Cats.
The early signs in last weekend’s Club Aid Trophy games were most positive, with the Cats particularly impressive in drawing with the Gold Coast Suns.
Angus, 35, was a talented footballer and tennis player who first coached at the ripe age of 19.
He progressed through the equivalent of the Stingrays development program in the Claremont zone in WA until the age of 17, before electing to concentrate on his tennis.
He was good enough to contest the WA Open and played weekly in what was essential a State tennis league competition.
However, the introduction of hardcourts in Perth after being raised on grass coupled with entering the workforce convinced Angus to head back to football.
He played A-Grade Amateurs for the West Coast-Cowan club and then represented Bunbury in the strong South West Football League.
His playing career ended at the age of 23 after being involved in a serious car accident.
Keen to remain involved in the game, he returned to his junior club to coach after having first tried his hand at the caper for one season when he was 19.
“I was not all that sensational in terms of what I now know about coaching,” Angus quipped.
For his second tenure, he was handed a group of 14-year-olds who were perceived as ‘trouble’.
Angus was able to communicate with them at a level that brought the best out of the teens and they went on to win premierships in the first two years under his guidance.
“I just loved it, I really enjoy working with young people,” he said.
Rory Walton, who went on to play 100 WAFL games for Claremont and be in the Tigers’ best three players in three losing grand final sides, was among that group. He will play the last two-thirds of this season with the Cats.
Claremont then invited him into their junior development program and after performing a number of roles, was made assistant to Colts (under 18) coach Ashley Prescott.
Mark Reilly and then Guy McKenna were senior coaches during Angus’ time, before good mate Prescott got the top job, and Angus took over the Colts.
After running his own wholesale business at the same time, he moved to the Sunshine Coast for 12 months to further an interest in working with people and coaching them in making experiential changes in their lives.
He returned to Perth and set up a new company Beyond the Business where he worked with senior management to look at ‘bigger picture’ issues such as genuine staff welfare.
He was instantly welcomed back at Claremont and offered the midfield coach role with the club’s Colts. In 2009, the team won the premiership and six players went on to be drafted.
The lure of Queensland remained strong, however, and he moved to the Gold Coast last year where he spent time in the coaches box with McKenna and the Suns, was involved in some of the skills sessions, and also helped out at Broadbeach.
He was unable to commit fully to one club because he was running seminars on too many weekends but was grateful to both McKenna and then Cats coach Adrian Smith for the opportunity.
Angus was invited on to the Cats’ first football committee at the end of the year before, at the urging of his wife, applying for the senior coaching job.
“What excites me is to be able to help individuals and create an environment for them to be able to go for the highest point,” Angus said.
“We want to be the most professional club in the NEAFL, not in five years, we want to be on that path now.”