Wilston Grange playing coach Matt Trewhella will step down from his coaching role at the end of the 2016 season.
After a review of the clubs development process, which Trewhella was a part of, it was decided the best way forward for the club was a non-playing coach.
“We have set up a clear pathway for development at our club, for players, for coaches, and volunteers,” Trewhella said.
“It’s something I’ve been involved with since we did an analysis of where we are at the moment in terms of football, which has been done independently.
“Off field, things are going great for the last two years, there is a lot going on, but football has been a little bit neglected in terms of resources and a focus. With most clubs in Queensland, you have your juniors and your seniors and they run independently, but what we are finding is that inhibits development.
“Part of that is having the best coaches available to us, and part of that is not having a playing coach, but having a non playing coach.
“As a result of this review, which I was a part of, it was decided that I would step down.”
But don’t worry Gorillas fans, he will still be pulling on the boots.
“I’ve done it for four years, but I’ve always said I would play footy for as long as I could, and I still think I have something to contribute as a player, so I’ve made the decision to keep playing instead of coaching,” he said.
It was a decision that didn’t come lightly for Trewhella, but was the obvious choice.
“I stepped down straight away, before the meeting, to show the weight of a clear pathway program, doing all that we can to be successful in the QAFL,” he said.
“I think it’s difficult because I’ve been there for so long, but at the same time, we have put together a pathway in which I believe in, even if it does put me out of a job; it’s what is needed going forward.”
He believes the playing coach role is a real balancing act, but one that is too much for this level.
“You need to perform, that’s why you are there. The expectations are to play well, and coach well. If you are taking drills and putting time into your own game as well, you are compromising training sessions, you lose the ability to give feedback, and from a workload management point of view you can’t coach and play at the same time, they are two different roles,” Trewhella said.
“Even though they merge, the output of both is compromised. It’s more about maximizing the effect the coaches have on players.
The moment that sticks out above all else came late last year.
“Winning that final against the Magpies when we were down and out would have been a highlight,” he said.
“But in terms of the overall time, I think the main one was getting a really strong amount of games into a core group of players who we identified when I arrived at the club in the under 18’s as being our next senior group.
“Our aim was to get 20-30 games at senior or reserves level into those players, and I think we did that.”
And while his last game in charge of these young Gorillas will be in round 18 this year, it won’t be the last we see of him in the coaching sphere.
“No definitely not. I’ve got nothing in the pipeline, but I got into coaching originally so I would have an involvement in sport when I finished playing, so that outcome will never change, so it’s a matter of where and when,” he said
Trewhella will remain an interim member of the recently set up Development Committee.
Applications for the Wilston Grange senior coach are open until August 19, and can be done so by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
By Andrew Wiles