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How the West is being won
(Scott West takes charge of training at Avalon Airport Oval PHOTO: Arj Giese- Arj Images)
By Heath Buck- K-ROCK Football
Werribee senior coach Scott West is under no illusions of what’s required to bring home a long awaited VFL premiership to Chirnside Park.
In only his second season in charge of the Tigers, the former Western Bulldogs’ champion doesn’t have to look much further than the Geelong model that reaped success in 2012, as a source of inspiration.
“The common theme in any premiership make-up is mature teams who have been together for an extended period will have success,” West exclusively told krockfootball.com.au.
“There is no doubt Geelong last year had a lot of guys in the 22-24 age bracket, including some mature bodies, and we have tried to address that over pre-season”.
“It’s important we retained as many as we could and have a really strong Werribee list.”
In a productive off-season from a recruiting perspective, Werribee has secured the services of former AFL players Addam Maric (Melbourne & Richmond), Brett Meredith (Sydney) and Scott Clouston (Brisbane), as well as quality VFL players Kris Pendlebury (Collingwood) and Michael Ross (Bendigo Bombers), plus a number of TAC graduates including highly rated 203cm Geelong Falcon ruckman Darcy Fort.
But it is the signature of former Sydney Swan midfielder Jarred Moore, who has taken on a development role at North Melbourne that has the coaching staff at Werribee most excited. West believes Moore can add plenty to a team looking to take another step forward from last year’s heart breaking five point preliminary final loss to Geelong.
“He’s been terrific on and off the track,” West said.
“We’ve got a really quite group and sometimes when you’re mixing younger players with more experienced players you have a void in communication and he (Moore) has been great in breaking that down.”
West is also hopeful that the man known by his teammates as ‘Bulldog’ can bring some of Sydney’s renowned culture to Avalon Airport Oval.
“Obviously coming from the Sydney system, where they have a really strong culture of team and bonding, we are confident he can be a real asset for us,” he said.
Werribee’s partial alignment with North Melbourne is as strong as ever according to West, and both clubs appear to be on the same page when it comes to success for the Werribee Football Club.
“The Werribee footy club prides itself on being successful. They have been in preliminary and grand finals but they just haven’t been able to get over the line,” West said.
“The Kangaroos are very mindful and respectful that we are trying to build success here and they realise its important for their players to play in a successful team.
“Winning is a habit and one that provides a good culture around football clubs and if North Melbourne listed players are playing in a winning environment here, it’s good for their footy and good for the Kangaroos.”
West is adamant the Tigers need a more even spread of leadership over the field if they’re going to challenge for Werribee’s first VFA/VFL premiership since 1993.
“Unfortunately our captain (Robbie Costello) is in a forward pocket and sometimes it’s difficult for him to have an impact on the group during a game,” he said.
“So what we have done is recruit Kris Pendlebury, a defender who captained Collingwood’s VFL team, who will provide much needed leadership on game day, and hopefully encourage younger guys to show more initiative.”
West is buoyed at the prospect of having both Majak Daw and North Melbourne recruit Daniel Currie available for Werribee games this season. Both Daw and Currie were impressive in the ruck and up forward for the Kangaroos in their opening NAB Cup fixtures against Richmond and Melbourne..
“Depending on how North want to structure up with Goldstein and how he’s travelling we could end up with both boys in our senior team which would be a real bonus for us.”
It’s hard not to feel there is some real unfinished business in the football journey of Scott West. As a footballer his individual record ‘stacks up’ against the best footballers of the modern era but as a player West still laments the lack of team success that plagued his 324 game career, and hopes this can drive him to help break Werribee’s 20 year premiership drought.
“It burns me,” he said.
“For every player who hasn’t played in one or got close to playing in one, the joy and prestige which goes with it is something which is a real driving factor in my coaching.”
But like any good coach, West is not letting his own ambition get in the way of what is a very important year for the Werribee Football Club.
“Success and opportunities to play in a Grand Finals doesn’t come without hard work and being able to take the steps before it,” West said.
Scott West has aspirations to ultimately coach at the highest level, but for season 2013 the Werribee Football Club couldn’t be in better hands.
“It’s really high on my agenda to coach AFL footy, but what the right pathway is, no one knows,” he said.
“But this year is about maintaining and developing a really strong mentality about winning at the Werribee footy club.”
Werribee play its first practice this Friday at 4pm at Whitten Oval against Williamstown ahead of their first home and away game in the Peter Jackson VFL season against Port Melbourne at North Port Oval on Saturday March 30th.