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Post by Oldfella on Mon Sep 21, 2020 12:14 pm

We are all disappointed by the clubs football performance and have expressed our feelings of what is the short comings. However I find myself guilty of identifying weaknesses without really considering why and what I would do to rectify on a long term basis. I feel in our frustration we are all doing this.

SO ---- MY QUESTION TO EACH OF YOU IS
WHAT WOULD YOU DO ABOUT THE WAY THE CLUB DOES ITS FOOTBALL BUSINESS.


Discussion rules.

1. Leave out throwaways like get better recruits or sack the Coach as we are looking at a long term issue (many many years going back to when Doug was still in the chair!) that clearly show it is an inherent weakness in how we do our business & our football structure.

2. Do not just identify the perceived fault but also identify potential corrective action.

3. As an example --- over several years we have negotiated with all class player that other teams have recruited and (I am informed) in many cases our $$$$ matched other clubs bids but lost due to ability to provide good jobs for player & partner --- suggested resolution is do we need a full time Recruiting Manager who has a role in identifying/developing employment opportunities within our business supporter group.

4. Be nice and respect full.

Enjoy.

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Post by RODH2 on Mon Sep 21, 2020 2:37 pm

What I wouldn't do is get rid of people who are West Adelaide DNA. We did win a Premiership in 2015. I might expand these thoughts as this goes along........
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Post by Wolf Pack on Mon Sep 21, 2020 10:04 pm

To be a successful Football Club, you must have people who are passionate about the club calling the shots.
It feels like our board is just a group of people who have been successful in the Business world who have thrown cash at the club at various times and because of that, get a ticket on to the board.
We won a premiership in 2015 and John Kantilaftas was our CEO. John is successful in Business but also a premiership player with our club.
At that time our Board consisted of several passionate West Adelaide people.
I would argue that the Board has failed dismally this year.
The team is a basket case across all three grades.
Memberships are down significantly.
Our website and social media is amateur and not always up to date.
Attendances are down, most importantly at home games.
Why wouldn’t the President and / or CEO be in regular contact with members and supporters during such an abysmal season?
What is being done to change our predicament?
Why is it so difficult for our club to be competitive when other clubs like Sturt and Glenelg who were close to folding, turn their fortunes around?





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Post by TAAARS on Tue Sep 22, 2020 10:38 am

My thoughts pretty much mirror what Wolf Pack just wrote.
It all starts with the Board of Directors,to the CEO and sub committees such as recruiting, finance coaching etc.
The board appoints all the others and it is the board who must ensure they perform as required or do something about it pronto, before we get into the state we are in.
Our club has for years been appalling in communicating with the members about what they are doing and the direction of where we are heading. Sure we get the occasional write up on the website that few read anyway and as mentioned by Wolf Pack is second rate when you compare it to most other clubs and organisations. Sometimes I think a 10 year old wrote it up the grammar/spelling is so bad.
The front office is missing in duty half the time and you have to go down 2 or 3 times to renew your membership or book the venue. Rarely does anyone follow up an enquiry.
Members should be receiving emails at least once a week from the club especially while we are struggling to retain members about what they are doing to remedy the situation. How hard can it be after all? They can send out text messages about home games but can't send out updates on what they are doing. That tells me they are either too lazy to write one or have done nothing to report.
We should be getting emails from the CEO, Coaches, President, Finance director, Recruiting committee and so on in turn every week from at least one of them, telling us what they are doing to address the problems and how we are tracking to achieve our goals. Sure some things are confidential but at least we know they are not sitting idle waiting for a miracle to happen. It is almost like the KGB the way our administration is run. Tell the members nothing,do what your told, vote the way we say.
Meanwhile little gets done. There has been a lot of talk about a certain Football manager who has now left the club who reportedly did not do his job and has put us back years. Yes I agree the evidence is there to see. However it begs the question. Who appointed him, made him a full time employee so making it so hard to get rid of him when it became apparent he was not doing his job, and allowed it to go on for so  long? The board at the time did that's who,or at least hold the ultimate responsibility.
We have had CEO's in the past come to the club being hailed as the messiah only to drive us to near insolvency. Another CEO caught thieving from the club. All under the direction of the board of the day.
Doesn't anyone do performance reviews/audits at Westies like any other properly run business?
This has been going on for years,under different boards. It is a wonder we are still around quite frankly. Now we have a SANFL encouraged appointed board that even if we wanted to get rid of for incompetence one day we can't. We would now need a near riot by the majority of members to force a special meeting to change the constitution back again to how it was. Good luck with that in the face of an incumbent that holds all the cards and information and can dribble out whatever they wish, true or false, while being backed by the SANFL.
The current board I have no doubt is doing their best and have the clubs best interest at heart but will it always be so? This is the problem with by invitation appointed boards you risk being overtaken by those with vested interests in other areas. Many businesses have gone belly up with Directors /CEO's walking away quite handsomely.
You asked the question that is my view on things. In a nutshell, Communicate, make the members and supporters feel valued, demonstrate how we are reaching our goals and bring the membership with you. No one expects overnight success if they have a brain in their heads but we must be able to see progress and  then communicate some more. Never stop doing it.
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Post by Saundo on Tue Sep 22, 2020 7:43 pm

So sad but so true. More people attend an amateur league game than Richmond oval. Nothing done to maintain or increase membership and crowds. I get more communication from the Para Hills community club than West Adelaide. If the current board is doing their best we are going nowhere and their best isn’t acceptable at any level. Gavin is a great person and has my upmost respect but after 3 years of extremely poor results change has to be made. Michael Godden is West Adelaide and a proven coach, he is available so get him. That’s a start in the right direction
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Post by Wolf Pack on Tue Sep 22, 2020 9:45 pm

I agree with Saundo.
Changes need to be made.
Unfortunately for Gavin, there is no getting away from his record.
3 wins in 2 seasons is not good enough.
Yes, our squad is ordinary at best but with salary caps decreasing in 2021 it is hard to see us recruiting much.
A new coach with new ideas is required.
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Post by Lachlan on Tue Sep 22, 2020 10:19 pm

Colville is contracted for next year and the club won’t pay him out.
Employment is hard to find in these times and therefore I expect him to coach us next year.
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Post by Wolf Pack on Tue Sep 22, 2020 10:29 pm

Fair call, Lachlan.
The more worrying problem is the rumoured $200,000 salary cap for next year.
This will cause players to leave in droves, Why commit to SANFL football when you can earn plenty more in the country without all the training commitments.
Also, how will we attract any quality players?
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Post by Lachlan on Tue Sep 22, 2020 10:37 pm

I’m sure there will be a reduction in the salary cap, but I will wait until that happens before I make any comments.

With a small reduction in playing lists in the AFL next year there will be more players looking for new homes and the AFL need healthy State leagues.
Secondly when it comes to country and Ammo footy for next year I would think sponsorship would become difficult due to the economy which I believe will only get worse once job keeper finishers.
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Post by The Axis on Wed Sep 23, 2020 6:36 am

It’s easy to blame the coach but really, would Ken Hinckley have done any better with our current playing list? If we can give Gavin something to work with then I believe results would be better. This is not a knock on The effort the players on our list give every week. They are trying their best, but if you haven’t got the quality and depth it’s an almost impossible task.
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Post by mikeme on Wed Sep 23, 2020 9:10 am

Just a quick one,
How many amateur clubs would be paying the players in the reserves grade? My guess is none.
If we did not pay the players to play development footy then that would give us a few extra dollars to spend on league players regardless of the salary cap.
The majority of the development team are under 18-19 year old's and this would give them a carrot to chase to make league level.

As Always
GO THE BLOODS
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Post by bloodsaint on Wed Sep 23, 2020 9:44 am

mikeme wrote:Just a quick one,
How many amateur clubs would be paying the players in the reserves grade? My guess is none.
If we did not pay the players to play development footy then that would give us a few extra dollars to spend on league players regardless of the salary cap.
The majority of the development team are under 18-19 year old's and this would give them a carrot to chase to make league level.

As Always
GO THE BLOODS

These lads playing reserves/development are basically doing it for nothing! But expected to put time in like an AFL footballer!
To keep these kids playing at SANFL level I think you actually need to pay them more. The SANFL cutting the Salary Cap would be the worse decision ever - you will have more and more leaving for country or amateur footy.

Only need to look at last year the number of fringe league players that left the club for country/amateur footy. That severly effects the depth.
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Post by mikeme on Wed Sep 23, 2020 10:03 am

Yes agreed bloodsaint but this is the type of players that the whole forum is saying are not good enough anyaway. Do we keep rewarding average?
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Post by bloodsaint on Wed Sep 23, 2020 10:10 am

mikeme wrote:Yes agreed bloodsaint but this is the type of players that the whole forum is saying are not good enough anyaway. Do we keep rewarding average?

Problem is if they leave you have to replace them. So like at end of 2019 when a heap of fringe league players left and havent been replaced we end up with the ones who were even behind them last year playing league and being the top end of reserves. Hence our results are like they are!

Need to encourage those fringe players to stay while you are hopefully able to top up with the top end talent. I know this hasnt happened - we dnt get the top end talent and we lose the fringe players!
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Post by Oldfella on Wed Sep 23, 2020 12:01 pm

Interesting article -- if you cannot read message me and i will cut /paste
https://www.adelaidenow.com.au/messenger/north-northeast/sanfl-needs-to-pay-players-more-to-end-exodus-to-country-and-local-clubs-says-chad-osullivan/news-story/95e6991f089acfaf135a546a8e4b9f54

Players can get much more playing in lower Leagues especially country Leagues though the SANFL is trying to stop this.

We still need Reserves players to play around good kids during their grooming. Players in the Reserves should have maximum (some exceptions) of 2 seasons to prove they are League potential or they are moved on

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Post by bloodsaint on Wed Sep 23, 2020 1:20 pm

Oldfella wrote:Interesting article -- if you cannot read message me and i will cut /paste
https://www.adelaidenow.com.au/messenger/north-northeast/sanfl-needs-to-pay-players-more-to-end-exodus-to-country-and-local-clubs-says-chad-osullivan/news-story/95e6991f089acfaf135a546a8e4b9f54

Players can get much more playing in lower Leagues especially country Leagues though the SANFL is trying to stop this.

We still need Reserves players to play around good kids during their grooming. Players in the Reserves should have maximum (some exceptions) of 2 seasons to prove they are League potential or they are moved on

He is spot on in this article and it was 6 years ago!!!
Nothing has changed with SANFL payments.
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Post by Coolie on Wed Sep 23, 2020 2:55 pm

The problems will be exasperated if the SANFL allow the 2 AFL to return to the comp next year. The gap will widen. Unfortunately for some reason the powers that be believe we need them to strengthen our competition. Utter ..... in my opinion.
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Post by Oldfella on Wed Sep 23, 2020 3:04 pm

Coolie wrote:The problems will be exasperated if the SANFL allow the 2 AFL to return to the comp next year.  The gap will widen.  Unfortunately for some reason the powers that be believe we need them to strengthen our competition. Utter ..... in my opinion.

TOTALLY AGREE

For several years idiots (IMO) have called for additional teams including from Northern Territory ---- I on the other hand argue that with the growth of the AFL in South Australia then the Sponsor base for the SANFL clubs has been significantly reduced and that it needs to be an 8 team competition

Interestingly that someone at the Crows was quoted as saying that they may look at not having a reserves team and have their players shared out?

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Post by mikeme on Wed Sep 23, 2020 3:13 pm

I am aware of what happens to players and the payments that they receive at other clubs but I was following the theme of this thread "WHAT WOULD YOU DO"
It seems most have taken it in a different tangent. We have moved from what would we do for West Adelaide to what is happening to the broader comp.
My initial comment was to free up more cash for potential recruits that we seem to not be able to attract. As all clubs can only offer the same "max" amount to sign a player it would quite often come down to how much per game.
Controversial I know but it is an idea that's all.
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Post by Oldfella on Wed Sep 23, 2020 3:34 pm

mikeme wrote: As all clubs can only offer the same "max" amount to sign a player it would quite often come down to how much per game.

No quite correct mate as I understand it  ---- clubs MUST have a signed Senior list of 35? players whose total salary fits under the Salary Cap --- I believe there is a MINIMUM Game Payment not a Maximum Game Payment --- I understand club can bid as high as they like providing the are within the total Salary Cap (Lethal, any comment?).

AS I said at start "over several years we have negotiated with all class player that other teams have recruited and (I am informed) in many cases our $$$$ matched other clubs bids but lost due to ability to provide good jobs for player & partner"

I was told that for several? years we have not spent our full salary cap allowance based on financial considerations (note not just this Board but previous ones also) --- If true then obviously this Financial decision must be reversed especially if a reduced Salary Cap is introduced.

Your statement "to free up more cash for potential recruits" is extremely valid IMO.

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Post by Lee Harradine on Wed Sep 23, 2020 4:01 pm

Clubs must submit a list before the season starts of contract player payments, base payment and match payments, that doesn't exceed the salary cap.

That means the cap cant be exceeded and can only be equalled if the 21 highest paid players ply every game, whiich never happens.

Until this season, the Club has contracted up to the full amount, AFAIK. I would estimate that this season, given the lack of recruiting, we would have been a very, very long way under the cap. Good for the bottom line, not so good for results.

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Post by redblack32 on Wed Sep 23, 2020 7:15 pm

I would start with a clean out from the whole club.
As a club we are sub standard, from a playing perspective to a management level.
I would clean out the office.
Our communication with members, our Social media (which this day and age is huge to a football club) borders on unprofessional and substandard.
A change in the office and bringing in people who are professional would help massively with our poor cumminaction n comicale social media.

As for the bar, we need to start making it inviting for people
What’s the enticement to be a member and drink at the club?
Members get hardly any discount or anything to make you want to be a member

As for the footy side.
It’s a cop out n easy choice to blame a past “football manager” and the present board
Don’t get me wrong, that football manager and present board have many questions to answer with our predicament right now
But the old board does also.
If like many are saying all our problems lay with the gone football manager, how did the old board let this happen on there watch?
There as much to blame In my eyes.
As for Wayne and Derek, I would give them this coming season to show what they bring to the table. I bloody hope they can deliver.
As for the coaching situation. I believe Gavin is a good coach
But the record stands for it self. And I want and demand excellence from my whole club, from the board, to the office to the players. So with that and the record over the last 3 years.
I would be making a huge play for godden.
Changes need to happen, not just on field but off field aswell


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Post by Oldfella on Wed Sep 23, 2020 9:35 pm

redblack32,

I like and endorse all your comments in reference to the Football activities and agree we should chase Micky Godden but as Manager of Coaching (for a title) and retaining Gavin. I am not suggesting replacement of Wayne as Football Manager rather suggesting that Micky Godden fit between him and the Coach and takes on all duties relevant to the Footy team/s.

Similarly, I very much like the rest of tour thoughts and offer a few minor comments for your/others consideration/discussion.

The Office area has been working on very minimal staff due to the virus shutdown with staff available (including CEO) working very long unpaid hours just to maintain day to day administrative/organizational requirements such that I feel some understanding is needed at this time.
Having said I totally agree that communications is an area that needs review and improvement.

You make a very good point about the Bar when you say "What’s the enticement to be a member and drink at the club?" when one considers that non-members share the same facility. Having said this, is there sufficient number of Members to justify the cost of a Members only bar? ---- In the case of the Westonians (which raise significant funding) I say yes but Members Only Bar I am not sure.

Finally, I fully endorse your comment reference cop out as honestly I believe the Premiership in 2015 was a bit of an anomaly and the true long term state of football is in the 5/10 years before 2015 and those years since --- as I said at the start and you appear to agree we have been unsuccessful for so long that it MUST be structural reason in how we do our football business.

I believe that one of the inherent problems is that we have tried to run this area on a shoe string for many years with too little personnel. I am not talking about more match day/training coaches rather more Professionals off field dedicated to specific areas (Recruiting - Rural Regions - Player/Coach/Staff Welfare/Education for a few) working under the overall big picture of Wayne as Football Manager.

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Post by aldo russian on Wed Sep 23, 2020 9:49 pm

1. Recruit heavily. As many high quality as we can, and then some judicious lower profile selections who will improve our squad.

2. Ensure we are not overlooking any talent in any of our zones at any age level.

3. Identify weaknesses in existing players we want to retain and set about improving them. We can't make slow players quick, or short players tall, but we can make players fitter and stronger. We can teach them to tackle more effectively (possibly by bringing in someone with a rugby background). Several players would also be much more useful and damaging if they could kick but I'm not sure if that can be corrected in mature players. I'd look into it though.

4. Establish some sort of framework/structure around recruiting/talent identification that will survive beyond the term of the current incumbents, i.e something that a new appointment can come in and plug into straight away. e.g. Andy Collins basically did all the recruiting when he was coach, which was great but meant that when he left we had nothing in place. That's a recipe for a slide down the ladder.

5. Communicate with the members frequently and with substance, not platitudes.

That'd be a start.
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Post by Lachlan on Wed Sep 23, 2020 9:58 pm

I agree with Aldo’s post and I would also appoint a New Fitness Coach.
Our Fitness levels for the past 3 years has been sub standard at best.
When you are a bottom club you need to be fitter than any other club due to the deficiencies in player personnel.

I also think changes to the assistant coaches is necessary. We appointed Piasente this year which was great having a former capt back at the club.
I would look at assistant coaches from the Top 3 clubs as they would bring vital intel with them.
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