The man at the helm of Labrador’s 2015 QAFL Premiership, Steve Daniel, has been appointed as coach of the Gold Coast SUNS NEAFL team for 2016.
Daniel, a man very familiar with the Queensland coaching pathway, has taken over from outgoing Labrador player, Josh Fraser.
Daniel, who previously coached down in Victoria, has worked his way from Cairns, where he would coach the South Cairns football Club, and the Queensland Country team on three occasions, to the Gold Coast, taking Labrador to successive grand finals, including one flag, while heading up the Queensland Representative Team in 2014, and assisting this year.
AFL Queensland State Coaching and Volunteer Education Manager, Steve Wildschut, said Daniel’s appointment in the SUNS’ job shows the strength of the Queensland coaching system.
“It’s fantastic, it’s another feather in the cap of Queensland coaching, following on from Wayne Brittain years before, and Murray Davis most recently, to go through the process of assisting with the juniors, academies, and local state league football,” he said.
“No doubt he will be outstanding in the role, given his lengthy experience in different roles within coaching on his way to the appointment.”
Wildschut said it is important to go progress through the ranks, like Daniel has done once arriving in the sunshine state.
“Experience is only obtained through experience. You need to be able to broaden your CV as much as possible and cover off as many aspects as possible to give yourself the best opportunity to make it at the top level,” he said.
“Getting there isn’t the be all and end all, you want to be able to do a good job when you are there.”
For anyone hoping to emulate Daniel’s path, or just get involved, it all starts with the coaching courses.
“The first step is by going through the coaching courses. The next step is aligning themselves through a club, and then working through the ranks, which may be an assistants role, to the predominate role of being a head coach. That can be done either through the talent programs, through the state league, or both,” he said.
To add to the Queensland coaching flavour, Brad Miller has been announced as the new UWS GIANTS NEAFL Coach.
Miller was a Mt Gravatt junior, who was also apart of the Queensland Under 18 team as a player, before being drafted by Richmond at pick 55 in the 2001 AFL Draft.
Interestingly, Miller’s father, Neville, also has a history of coaching in Queensland. Neville was a long serving coach of the Queensland Under 16 team, as well as the Mayne reserves.
Both will no doubt draw on their Queensland history in the job.
By Andrew Wiles – @andrewjwiles