Q & A with The Gaffer

COVID training

With the prospect of being back on the pitch shortly, we sat down with Head Coach (The Gaffer) Shane Cansdell-Sheriff to find out how he and our senior players have handled the Covid-19 lock down. Shane also had some great advice for our SAP and Youth players to stay sharp as we await the nod to resume training and competition.

Shane Cansdell-Sheriff

How have you been handling the lock down?

Nothing has changed for me really. I have been fortunate enough to work right through. The main change would be that I have been driving to Sydney rather than using public transport.

What has been the hardest thing to cope with?

That would be the kids! After a long day at work and they have been stuck in all day. Tensions have risen a few times ha-ha.

How have you been keeping in shape?

For some time now I have completed a pre-work workout in Sydney starting around 5.30am. I run around Circular Quay and other parts of Sydney.

How have you been keeping in touch with the squad?

I have been in contact with the boys via group chat, personal phone calls and via the club captain Luke Rutledge who will pass on any info needed. I have intentionally given the players space knowing we would be bunkered down for a while. Although, in the past couple weeks we have started gearing back up again ready for the season restart.

Have you given the players goals to reach before they return?

Currently the seniors are back on a program in preparation for the restart. I set a task each Sunday and they are required to report their work via group chat in the form of either video footage or photos. So far the response has been good.

What are you expecting when everyone returns?

From the players I expect a decent level of fitness and commitment ready to go. We have a very good group of lads at this club so I have no concerns about their attitudes. I expect the footballing world may be very different for some time. Many of the hurdles clubs have had to overcome will be back again and it may take many years to rebuild.

Do you think the delay in the season starting will affect the team?

No I don’t think it will affect the team so much. If anything it has allowed a couple of boys with injuries to heal and players overseas to return early. The delay has been sad but good for us from a selfish point of view haha!

Have your goals altered at all?

I do not think our goals will change. But once we return and know what the outlook will hold than we will review our goals and refine them where needed.

We have a young squad so will a potentially shorter season be a good or bad thing?

The potential of a shorter season won’t affect us in anyway. The concern is more match fitness if we are given around two to four weeks prep before the season starts. Working from home alone is very different from a full pre-season.

Finally Shane, do you have any tips for our SAP and Youth players about keeping their skill level sharp while not playing or training?

Similar to what I have told my own boys. Just continue practising as much as you can. Be creative, look for ideas, ask for help. I used to throw the ball on my roof and wait for it to return to work on my touch. I would put the trampoline on its side and practice technique. I even practiced my ball skills by keeping the ball from my boxer dog .. although he was a tough bugger to beat! Juggle the ball as juggling is over looked. You’re teaching your brain where and how to touch the ball as it continually changes. My high school sport’s program insisted we had to achieve 1350 juggles by the end of the year or we had to leave the program. Although I left it to the final months. I put my head down and was one of the first to achieve it. The others who failed left the following year.

Thank you Shane.