New coach looking to build belief
FOOTBALL: “Believe boys, believe that we can do it.”
That will be the first message coach Mitch Williams will issue to his troops when pre-season training kicks off at 6pm on January 7 at Berserker Football Club.
Williams takes on the role of head coach of the joint Southside United/Berserker’s Premier League Division 1 team for the first time and he cannot wait to get started.
“I’m excited,” he said.
“For me, it’s about getting the enjoyment back into the game, making players want to turn up and play rather than it being a chore.
“I want people who are committed to what we’re trying to achieve, committed to the way we want to play and the way we are going to change moving forward.”
Williams brings plenty of experience to the position, having enjoyed success as both a player and coach.
He was captain of the last Berserker team that won the Wesley Hall Cup in 2004.
He also played for the Capricorn Cougars in the Queensland State League for three years in the mid-2000s.
He coached his first football team at 15 and “never really got out of it”.
His most recent gig was with the Gracemere Redbacks, who played in the Rockhampton Women’s League.
In his four years at the helm there, the team won two minor premierships, played three grand finals and won the title in 2017.
Williams is also looking forward to renewing his association with assistant coaches Brad Smith and Roy Bob, with whom he played when he first joined Berserker.
Bob and Williams were also Cougars teammates and Smith coached the victorious Berserker team in 2004.
Williams plans to also work closely with second division coach Robijn Staal as he endeavours to make the joint venture a “competitive force” once again.
The first division team did not win a game this season but Williams believes there are firm foundations on which to build.
“Every team likes to win and winning is contagious.
“We know it’s not going to just happen, we’re going to have to work hard for that to change.
“The players have to realise that if they want to win, they have to put the hard work in – and then the results will look after themselves.
“It might not happen next year but we’re hoping that in the next couple of years we’ll be playing in the finals series.”
Williams said while fitness was a key component he would be relying on the players to take responsibility in that area.
“That has to come from them. We’ve only got them for two nights a week and we’ve got a lot to work on,” he said.
“We’re going to focus on structures and the way we’re going to play and how we’re going to attack and defend,” Williams said.
“It’s all about repetition; the more you do something the better you’ll become at it and the better we’ll become as a team.
“I want every player to have the belief that he can do it and we can do it as a group.”