Shame Percy Cerrety is not around, bless him, he was one hell of a coach.
Used to have us running up and down the sand dunes, in the water and along the beach dragging a car tyre on a rope, at Portsea, His beach training runs were famous. The survival of the fittest. Felt like you had been run over by a bus at the end and often finished with your head between your legs vomiting. I’m certain many can relate to that.
As a 15 year old, I spent two weeks at Percy’s camp in Portsea. The first 4 days Hawthorn Footballers were there, it was the time of Kennedys Commandos. If you were there you may remember the weights area with the train wheels and axle with concrete coating. It must have weighed 150 kg and Percy bet these footballers that he could lift both ends off the ground. I think the bet was them all doing 50 times up and back on the longest sand dune.
Anyway Percy, who I reckon weighed about 50 kg, grunted and groaned and pranced around these weights, about six times, then grabbed the axle and grunted more, then walked to one end and lifted it about about an inch off the ground, then marched to the other end and lifted it off the ground. He loudly proclaimed he had lifted both ends off he ground and so won the bet.
Those dumb Hawks agreed and did the sand dunes, most never made 50 and they all went home early.
Percy was a great man, but very strange. His Wife Nancy was the only person he was scared of.
People are putting them in the top 4.
They’ve done worse that SFA for many many years. Yet, magically jump up into the top 4. Having crumbled to the pressure, in round 23 last season. When it was harder to not make the finals, than make it.
What they, or anyone, have done in the past - particularly years ago, has nothing to do with the upcoming season.
Clubs don’t have personalities, even though people love to portray them that way. It makes commentating easier.
Then you have all the backroom staff who have been working behind the scenes for 50 years, telling the players that ‘this is what the club used to be’ and we shouldn’t be changing things that worked 25 years ago. It becomes a toxic culture.
I haven’t talked about the toxisity of a supporter group on a club. MFC are possibly the most toxic.
Sure - a bad apple, or a bunch of bad apples, will drag a system down pretty quickly, especially if they are influential people. And that why good management are aware of this and should cull them out. It doesn’t always happen, of course, and not uncommonly, it’s management itself that are the problem.
However, a footy club is exactly the kind of place where this kind of thing would stand out. Any kind of subversion by players or coaches, any morale-sappers, insidious commentary, undermining and what not is quickly spotted - because the club is highly focused on peak performance, motivation and moral. It is exactly the kind of environment where this so-called ‘club-culture’ would be rooted out before it contaminated the rest of the team/club.
In corporate, a high-level manager with a chip on the shoulder can hang around for ages, handicapping the establishment. In an elite-level sporting club? Nah.
And even if you don’t buy all that, turnover of players/staff would flush it away. In a club, you don’t get to that management level by continuously employing losing mentality, and you don’t play at that level by having that mindset.
I know I am in the vast minority on this subject, particularly on this fan-site.