NORTH Melbourne coach Brad Scott adopted a rare hands-on approach to lead a coaching masterclass at Eureka Stadium last night.
Scott, and his full coaching staff, put North Ballarat Rebels’ squad through a training session – just as he would for his AFL charges.
The warm-up vibe had an intensity and anticipation to pre-match routine as players prepared for Scott to take to the field.
About 40 football coaches from about the region watched and had the chance to interact with Kangaroos coaching staff during coaching drills before moving into a run-through on vision.
This is the first time Scott has led a Rebels under-18 training session as part of the Kangaroos’ AFL community camp in Ballarat.
“I’m looking to take the session with a dual focus – to train players exactly as we do in the AFL and to show coaches from the region the way of our coaching philosophy as we work,” Scott said.
“It’s a really strong partnership we have with North Ballarat and we see our role with the Rebels as really important.
“The camp is a great opportunity to get out in the Ballarat community and whole Ballarat region.
“Everyone of our staff and every player is out here in the community ... my area of expertise is coaching and hopefully I can share that
with the Rebels and other levels of football.”
This is the Kangaroos’ sixth consecutive community camp in Ballarat, building on a long-standing affiliation with the city’s Victorian Football League club North Ballarat Roosters.
They will return to Eureka Stadium next weekend to face Carlton in a televised NAB Challenge match.
Competition for spots is hot with a near full-strength roster, excepting injured captain Andrew Swallow (Achilles) in contention.
“Players know there are only 26 spots. We had 40 in an intense match simulation,” Scott said.
“For sure, we’ll be playing some younger guys, but that won’t be at the expense of our senior players.”
Kangaroos’ defender Jamie Macmillan said players were keen to get back in action on the field after a long, intense training period.
A full roster of players, featuring high-profile recruit Nick Dal Santo, fan favourite Majak Daw, hometown hero Drew Petrie and captain Swallow led school clinics across the region yesterday before travelling to grassroots clubs last night.
Macmillan said it was an important break in routine pre-season work and gave players a chance to meet supporters.
“Meeting players can really make a kid’s day or week – I know it did when I was a junior – and it’s always good to give a little back to those cheering you on,” Macmillan said.
Players will take part in community activities, including line-dancing, this morning before a super-clinic this afternoon.