Q & A with Adrian Ricciardello 

Friday, November 20, 2020 - 10:48 AM

East Fremantle’s Colts pre-season begins in just ten days, so we caught up with Head Coach Adrian Ricciardello as he enters his second season at the helm!

Q Thoughts/Reflection on 2020

AR: With the Covid-19 shutdown it was a tough year, tough for young boys trying to make their mark in footy. But we got through it and we came out stronger as you could see in the back half of the year when we strung some good footy together and played in a Prelim Final. That was a reward for our effort I suppose because we went through a bit. As a first-year coach, it was tough to navigate at the start but once we got into a flow and put the systems in place, it was great.

It was an enjoyable first year, the people around me made it enjoyable! Obviously, we have plenty of work to do going forward. We played 39 players in 10 games this year which is a pretty good effort. Ten to twelve of those boys who played in the Prelim Final are 17 years old or younger so there is plenty of upside!

Q Off the back of the longest ever pre-season, how do you go about planning and preparing for pre-season this year?

AR: This pre-season is a breeze! Obviously we are aware that we have to some sort of pre-season before Christmas, so we will plan that block to just touch base and set some standards pretty early on. We don’t want to burn them out because we did get shutdown for 8 weeks at the start of the season and then played in a Prelim Final at the end of September. We have to make sure that they get the right amount of rest and recovery but are also building towards next year. So, we will just plan it in blocks with the first one starting on November 30th.

Q What are you looking to build on in your second year as head coach?

AR: I’m working on my own development as a coach, streamlining training and making it more effective, as well as simplifying the game plan. I guess the challenge for myself, which I’m looking forward to, is hammering in the message to the new boys but making it fresh enough for the existing players to want to learn and grow with it.  

I’m looking forward to building a strong relationship with the guys that are already there and the new players that we are bringing in.

Also building layers to those 17-year-olds turning 18 who are wanting to get drafted and for the boys wanting to play at League level, so just getting their football better.

With the line coaches, having a better understanding and building that relationship as well.

Q What is the depth of the squad looking like?

AR: We have got a really good bunch coming in from the 2019 inaugural Futures winning side who are now 18 years old.

We have some talented boys coming out of the PSA system that will be with us full time now, which is great, so we will get to see them develop with us.

 A good group of 17-year-olds are coming through as well from the Futures this year, which incidentally, I’ve developed since they were 14 so I probably know them better than I know myself!

We also have seven to eight top end 19 year olds who haven’t played a lot of footy due to school or injury, so as far as depth goes, it’s going to be really good not only for us as a program but for the club as well.