Peter Young has transformed the Surfers Paradise Football Club across the space of 18 rounds this year, but he isn’t done yet. Young will coach the Demons for a second season in 2016.
Round 18 Surfers Paradise was a much different outfit to the Round 1 Surfers.
Not only were they playing a better brand of footy, they were playing better as a team. Because of that, this decision should come as no surprise.
“There was no hesitation when the club came to me, I just wanted to do it one more year, and the club wanted to put spot to bed. We started to get some continuity going, so it was important to keep that heading in the same direction,” Young said.
When Young took the helm at the end of last year, two years in the coaching seat was always the plan.
“I really wanted to do it for two years. The first year was always going to be about coming in to have a look at who is here and have a look at as many players as we can, which we have done. The second year was always going to be the one where we have a real crack at it, and I wanted to be apart of that,” he said.
That doesn’t mean he will walk away from the club when that two-year stint is over though. A move into the operation side of things is very much on the cards.
“It’s only going to be a one-year coaching deal from here. After next year is over, I am hoping to run the footy club for the next ten years or so, leading the footy club and making it a successful club over a sustained period of time.”
While some performances have ebbed and flowed in 2015, the message stayed the same. That won’t change this summer either.
“The vision hasn’t changed at all. It’s always been to bring some good kids in, bring talent in, and give the pathway for them to come through,” he said.
“There is plenty of talent here in Queensland, so it’s about giving them opportunity. We still want to keep playing these kids and giving them opportunities. We know now what players can play where. The last four or five weeks really enforced that.
“It took them a while to get their heads around our style of footy, especially the existing boys at the club, but it’s being understood now, and we are seeing that right through the entire footy club.”
There wasn’t a specific game day moment where it was obvious it was all coming together. It was more the overall feel.
“The coaches were enjoying themselves; the young players were embracing what we were doing. Having 50 players on the track most nights is a fantastic effort. I thought that we were on the right track because the players are enjoying themselves and want to be apart of something,” Young said.
When 2016 concludes and the job description changes, that will just about spell the end of Young’s coaching career.
That doesn’t mean he won’t be in it to win it though.
“I think that after this year I will have had my turn. I’ve coached 26 years of footy, had a fair bit of success, eight grand finals, five premierships, but I wouldn’t mind tasting that one more time,” he said.
“Especially when you get to this time of year, and you see the Labrador’s and other teams running around. The only side that we really struggled with all year was Labrador, so I really believe we are not far off.”
The Surfers Paradise QAFL Reserve team take on Wilston Grange this Sunday in a semi final. The game kicks off at 11:45am at Yeronga.
By Andrew Wiles – @andrewjwiles