Isaac Conway: A Scorpion’s Tale

Under-18 Scorpions captain, Isaac Conway, talks about his approach to leadership, in this week’s Scorpion’s Tale.

Tuesday night was the Scorpions Jumper presentation dinner, an enjoyable night for players and parents.

Guest speakers included Clay Cameron, Andrew Boston, Dayne Zorko, and Morningside’s Kent Abey and Nick Tomlinson who spoke about the important role of the NEAFL competition.

The NEAFL is a competition that I’m gaining a lot of experience from outside of state training, playing mainly for the Lions reserves, and I hope that the NEAFL and National U-18 competition will be my stepping stones to potentially getting drafted.

It was a special night on an individual level as well, being named Scorpion captain for this year’s national titles. 

I’m incredibly honoured to have been nominated captain by the players and coaches and will take on the role with a determination to bring home the title. 

I was surprised to be named captain, but it was a good feeling.

During the preseason and training squads, I’ve tried to let some of the other senior players step up and take on more of a leadership and mentoring role. 

A player who has led by example and was great to see was Luke Rogerson.

Luke has been a good example for all the boys on the training track and in games, and he has become an instrumental part of the side.

The boys really listen to him and take on board what he says, a credit to him.

I was really excited to hear Luke named vice-captain of the side as well. 

I am really looking forward to the opportunity to lead Queensland again, after captaining the 16s to a championship title in 2011.

I’m confident we can repeat that success with a Division Two title this year.

I thrived on the opportunity to captain the side in 2011 and the role really pushed me to get the best out of myself and lead by example, both on and off the field.  

Having said that, I think it’s really important to strike a balance between striving for my best and making sure not to put too much pressure on myself. 

There’s definitely an extra expectation when in a leadership position, whether it be performing on the field or behaving in the right way outside of games, but I try not to let it affect me. 

 A lot of what I do on the field will not change, I always do my best and set a good example for the rest of the players knowing they can be confident in my leadership.  

Leadership on the field involves talking to players, ensuring they man up around stoppages and making sure to provide positive reinforcement to my teammates in games.

I draw a lot from my experiences with the Lions reserves, focusing on doing the basic things right, like setting up properly and making sure everyone is talking to each other contribute to a win.

In the AFL, I look up to Scott Pendlebury by the way he handles himself. 

Peers and opposition alike respect him as a player, as he does the right things both on and off the field.  I would love to emulate his attitude.

I feel since the camp in Townsville, the boys have really gelled well together and we’re now a pretty close knit group.

I don’t feel I need to take anyone under my wing, but I just try to keep everyone feeling positive.

I sometimes take five minutes after training to talk about what we could’ve done better in a particular situation or if someone could have positioned themselves differently. 

Those little things in a game will help them as a footballer to improve.

I think that’s pretty important in my approach to leadership.

We have more 17 year olds in the side this year and they’re all really keen to prove themselves after a good win at the under-16s nationals last year.   

It’s a big step up from the 16s to the 18 so I just talk to them about the pace of the game and remind them that they don’t have to do anything special.

If they just do their bit for the team, then that’s all the coaches and the team can ask.

The bottom line for me though is trying to keep everyone feeling confident and positive about the team.  

As captain I believe in every single Queensland player and it’s part of my job to ensure that the players believe in themselves too. 

It is an honour to wear the Queensland jumper, and I just want to help all of the boys get the best out of themselves.

Observers may have doubted Queensland’s ability after the cross over Div1 and TAC Cup games but I know we’re on the right track and I’ve got the utmost confidence that Queensland can bring home the title.

The 18s is the culmination of our junior footy careers and to be able to bring back the national Division Two title and to say I have captained that side would mean so much to me.

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