Round 9 - Q & A with Colts Coach Brad Dodd

Tuesday, June 5, 2018 - 10:36 PM
The  Ocean Hill Estate Peel Thunder Colts were back in action last Saturday, taking on the Claremont Tigers at Claremont Oval. After the game we spoke with Head Coach, Brad Dodd.
Another debutant this week, tell us about Brendan Cooke?
BD: Cookie is another 17 year old who plays Ruck/Forward. As a coaching group we really had one eye on next season with Brendan, but we wanted him to be apart of the program so we could monitor his progress. He’s really come on in leaps and bounds- had a strong start to the season for his local team and in the end he needed to be rewarded. 
The second meeting in 4 games between these 2 teams, a big win last time, does the group take any confidence from that? 
BD: You’d think so but we were wary of the response. Claremont are always effected heavily by PSA Football so we knew the team running out would be quite different to the one we played earlier. Opportunity can breed enthusiasm and they’ve made the last 5 Grand Finals, so we weren’t taking them lightly. 
Slippery conditions in the 1st, the radar was off in front of goal, kicking 2.5 to take 10 point lead not Quarter time. How’d you see the Quarter?
BD: Claremont were well on top around the ball early but we managed to wrestled back control and get the scoreboard ticking over. We had 37 tackles for the quarter and won contested ball. So the intent was there. We just needed to use the ball a bit better- a little bit of over-use was going on. 
The Thunder kicked 2 early goals in the 2nd to open up a 22 point lead before Claremont came surging back into the contest to trail by 4 points at the main break. What happened?
BD: Claremont stuck at it and from our perspective, we felt we had a drop off with our defensive intensity. We felt that we were dropping off early and conceding easy lead ups, which put the Backs under pressure. When the ball is in your area down back you need to be in the game 100% of the time- some of our defenders switched off at times and we were made to pay.  
Claremont hit the lead after kicking the first goal of the 3rd quarter, before the Thunder responded to open up an 18 point lead at the last break. Where were you getting on top?
BD: Firstly, our Backs got their starting positions and defensive actions right. We got a strong response from our Midfield- who looked dangerous when we got it out into space. Down forward, we started to work for each other and get the ball into some one on ones. We probably didn’t get full value for our effort- our ball Inside 50 could’ve been more clinical at times. 
A strong last Quarter, kicking 5 goals to run out 36 point victors. How’d you see the last?
BD: We were pretty efficient going forward, having 8 scoring shots from 8 Inside 50’s. We played some really unselfish football- taking the easiest option when we weren’t quite doing that earlier. We ran really hard to space and created some overlap due to a strong work ethic. 
Overall, a pretty solid win. What were you pleased with the most and anything to work on?
BD: We were happy that we created enough scoring opportunities from our Forward entries to kick a score. Our ability to win the ball and get out into space was excellent- it’s been a focus over the last month and we’re starting to see some positive signs. Happy that we only conceded 7 goals but we still have some work to do individually, and as a team, with our defensive actions, starting positions and structures. Still some work to do on our goalkicking, which has dropped away the last 2 weeks. 
Who were the better performers on the day?
BD: Pretty even across the group but had a few of our younger guys step up. We thought Cam Gavin was excellent in the Midfield. Cam is one of our promising 17 year olds, who has played 7 games this season. We see him as leading our Midfield next year. We’ve used him off the bench all season and he’s been improving each week and impacting more. LJ Hewitt, in his 2nd game, used the ball well, kicking a goal and having 3 score assists off his wing. Jack Sears continued his excellent year, providing a strong presence and kicking 3 goals up forward. Our leaders in Lachlan Riley, Jake Howes, Bradley Oldfield and Tyson Powell had a strong influence on the match while Bailey Taylor and Jye Kimpton were solid down back. 
Back at Bendigo Bank Stadium this week to take on West Perth. How have they been travelling?
BD: We’re yet to play West Perth but they’ve had a positive start to the year and sit just outside the Top 5. The challenge for our group is to consistently perform and improve each week. We still feel there are a few areas we need to be better at and West Perth will represent another great challenge.