Devils defensive mindset

By
Updated: February 8, 2016
New Corio captain Corey Collins (right) and deputy vice-captain Josh Foster are part of a five-man leadership group at Corio. Picture: AL PACKER
New Corio captain Corey Collins (right) and deputy vice-captain Josh Foster are part of a five-man leadership group at Corio. Picture: AL PACKER

New Corio captain Corey Collins (right) and deputy vice-captain Josh Foster are part of a five-man leadership group at Corio. Picture: AL PACKER

NEW Corio coach Nathan Boyd will instill a defensive mindset into his playing group in 2016.

Boyd, who has taken charge of Devils outfit that went winless in 2015, conceding an average of 186 points per game, admits improvements when his team doesn’t have the football is a key.

“It’s a slow process, and I guess that was the biggest thing about a three-year appointment, that we knew it was going to take time,” he said.

“But the guys are starting to understand defensive principles, and I want to play defensive footy, so they’re starting to learn positioning and roles when they don’t have the footy, or their opponent doesn’t have the footy.”

And Boyd says the new approach has been embraced by the playing group.

“The boys are buying in. They’re asking questions,” he said.

“They’re asking me for tips on how to get it quicker or asking me for extra help, and that’s all you can ask for from a young group, and a group who are pretty inexperienced with structures.”

Having been noncompetitive for a majority of last year, Boyd knows Corio is coming from a long way back.

However, his expectations  are ahead of schedule.

“We’re ahead of what I expected from the depth we have,” he said.

“And the numbers on the track have surprised me a little bit. The feedback I got from last year was we were light on numbers for on the track and then light for numbers on game day.

“But it looks like we’ll competitively and quite easily field two full sides.

“I think our top 15 are going to be pretty competitive.

“We’ll just have to work on some under-18 and reserve depth players to fill that void.”

The addition of former players and some new faces will ensure the Devils aren’t the whipping boys they were in 2015, and it’s those arriving at Shell Oval that will make up the majority of their leadership group.

Corey Collins has returned after several years at Anakie and has been named captain.

He will head up a five-man leadership group that includes Brad Huhn as vice-captain, Sanctuary Lakes recruits Josh Foster and Matt Kozole and last year’s skipper Chris Laurie as deputy vice-captains.

Boyd says Collins was the ideal man for the top job.

“He’s as professional local footballer as I’ve seen,” Boyd said.

“He’s getting a little bit older, but he still trains harder than the younger kids.

“He takes everything with that responsibility so seriously.

“He leads the boys brilliantly. He’s got a lot of respect at the club and, obviously, is a quite a handy footballer.”

With his leadership group now set and practice matches locked away, Boyd is counting down the days to Round 1 and a clash with Geelong West.

“I’m itching for it. I can’t wait to get out against Geelong West,” he said.

“It’s a big challenge, but it’s probably the closest game we’ve had for the last two years.

“It will be a good opportunity for all the boys to put that hard work into play.

“Hopefully we get a really competitive first round and we get a bit of momentum out of it.”

Twitter: @tom_king79



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