Q & A with Brad Dodd

Friday, May 22, 2020 - 1:11 PM

The players have returned to training after a period of lockdown, Football Manager Brad Dodd gives us an update on the squad and how the Sharks are ramping up in anticipation of a 2020 WAFL season start.

Q: The players have been back for 3 weeks now, how have the sessions been structured?

Initially we were allowed to train in groups of 10. We nominated 3 time slots where players could choose to train, with the first group starting at 3pm and the last group starting at 6pm. We weren’t able to use footballs, so the first weeks were just running sessions. This allowed us to build into the restart conservatively. With no set start date and various options on the table, we were mindful of overloading and potentially demotivating the group should the season not start soon. 

We had a group of players that had dispersed to their country homes but the rest of the group returned and we were really pleased with the condition they’d managed to keep themselves in. It allows us to hit the ground running once we do get a recommencement date. 

This week we were allowed to increase the group sizes to 20. We maintained the 3 session times and training consists of skills and running.

Q: Have all the support staff and Assistant Coaches returned?

At this stage the sessions are run by Bill Monaghan and myself. Over the weeks, the assistants and some support staff have popped in for a look from the stands, but until we get a start date and increased gathering numbers, we’ll keep everyone away. We check in with our staff as often as we can and the coaching group has had regular catch up sessions on Zoom. 

Q: We’ve seen the releases from the Government and WAFL around protocols that need to be adhered to when returning to train, how has the club adapted to those?

Pretty early on in the piece, we sought advice from our club doctor, Dr Ben Grant, about some of the things we should be looking at to ensure the safety of our players and staff. Ben produce a pretty extensive list of guidelines that we were implementing before the government and WAFL release their documents. Ben has been really important during the time away in providing information and guidance to our players. 

Q: The last time we spoke there were a few players that were doubtful for the start of the season, how are they tracking?

Matthew Jupp needed another operation on his foot to remove a small bone and he was staring down the barrel of a mid season start but he’s rejoined training and will be ready to go for Round 1. Durak Tucker had an ankle issue that would’ve needed an operation at the end of the season, but once we got shut down we managed to get him in, so he should also be ready for the restart. Alex Bray and Zach Jackson were also touch-and-go, but they will now be right to go when we restart. 

Q: Finally, what are you looking forward to seeing in season 2020?

I think everyone around the club, and WAFL, just want to see footy back again. We were really optimistic about our prospects this season, we believed we’d made some strong advances with our squad, both organically and by bringing others in. I’m looking forward to seeing that belief translate onto the field.