Sebastopol coach Phil Carman seeks commitment from players

SEBASTOPOL coach Phil Carman says greater commitment from players and a change in culture is needed to see his club finally start to succeed.

Speaking openly about his experience since crossing to the Kookaburras late last year, the former VFL star says a portion of his players need to start showing more devotion to the cause.

Admitting he was somewhat “shocked” since arriving at Marty Busch, Carman has vowed not to simply pick players for senior games based on reputation.

Rather, he said, he needed more dedication on the training track if players were going to pull on a senior kit.

The Burras have won just one game in the past two Ballarat Football League seasons, going winless in 2013.

Carman conceded a tough season was on the cards, but said there was still an air of positivity around the club.

Sebastopol opens its 2014 season on Saturday against fellow 2013 battlers Melton, which Carman labelled as a hugely important match for the club.

“I’m not under any illusions as to how tough it is going to be this year,” he said.

“An early win on the board is crucial but it’s not like it’s just going to happen, we need blokes running around on the training track and being fully dedicated.”

Pointing to some pre-season practice matches where many players were unavailable to run out for the Burras, Carman called for 100 per cent commitment.

“We had some guys who couldn’t play practice matches because they were playing cricket,” he said.

“In my eyes, footy season is footy season and that has to be number one priority. There might be a few guys who some people would think are locks for a senior spot, but if they can’t show commitment they aren’t going to play.”

Carman’s own son Rhys will no longer play for Sebastopol after gaining employment in Bendigo.

Unable to commit to training during the week, Carman said it would have set a bad example for the side if his son only turned up on weekends without being able to hit the training track.

“We haven’t really had many recruits so it is up to the guys already here to turn it around,” he said.

“The under-18s showed a bit of promise last year so we’re going to be turning towards them a fair bit.”

Sebastopol’s last win was in round 8, 2012, against Melton.

patrick.nolan@fairfaxmedia.com.au

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