RICK Horwood walked into Sunbury Football Club three years ago as head coach and turned around the club culture.
Football development manager AFL Goldfields region Tim Shearer said Horwood entered the club when a lack of discipline was tainting the club.
Now, the three-time premiership coach leads a reformed squad of young men.
Yesterday, Horwood’s impact on the club was recognised with the presentation of the Goldfields Coaches Association Senior Coach of the Year.
“We went out and changed the club, we recruited locals and brought them back, there’s been an influx of young blokes,” Horwood said.
“I implemented a contested brand of footy, but not outside the guidelines.”
He said there was a set of guidelines a coach had to abide by, but above all “patience” was the most important virtue.
He said modern-day football commitment far extended two nights of training and four hours on a Saturday.
“Coaching is much more involved than what it used to be, I have to keep up with the modern trends of footy. You are half psychologist, half coach these days,” Horwood said.
In selecting Horwood as the Senior Coach of the Year, Shearer said a community club feel had been surfaced since his appointment.
“It’s not about just winning flags, it’s the overall package. Rick has changed the perception of the club for the better,” Shearer said.
Horwood will go on to coach Sunbury for at least two more years after he was re-signed earlier this month.