German relishing Demon challenge
By Josh Kempton
Incoming Perth coach Peter German is relishing the challenge of taking over the Demons and believes the club is on an upswing.
Perth have been the WAFL’s strugglers over the past several seasons, having made the finals just once in the past 25 years.
German, an experienced coach whose career has spanned nearly three decades including
Premiership wins with Subiaco in 2004 and 2006, was appointed to the top job last September.
“We’ve probably lost a few experienced players after last year and there’s been a little bit of turnover, but in many ways as a footy club, that’s probably where we need to be to refresh, reset, and that’s a great opportunity for a new group to really move forward,” German told Sports Breakfast.
“I guess off the back of last year, there’s a lot of players who lost a bit of confidence, so one of the big things is I want the players to really believe in themselves, back themselves in, and go out and play with a real confident mindset to take the game on.
“We’ve got to bring in an environment and a culture and a club where players come in and they want to stay for five, six, seven, eight years … whether it’s the facilities, whether it’s the coaching, whether it’s the off-field, whether it’s the way the players form friendships and bonds, that’s really important.”
German has put together a star-studded coaching lineup at Lathlain Park, with his former Subiaco charges Darren Rumble and Brad Smith coming in as line coaches and former AFL legends Ben Cousins and David Mundy set to assist the club in part-time roles.
“I guess you can only really draw on people you’ve spent time with and have relationships with,” he said.
“Darren Rumble was an outstanding defensive player, six premierships, so Darren’s our defensive coach, which is great, and we’ve got a few players who are going to come in and help in bits and pieces.
“We’re still trying to formulate it, to be honest, we’ve had a few changes as well, so I want to make sure that the people we do get in are quality people that can help our players and teach the right values and the way we want to go about our football.”
The Demons’ player recruitment has had a youthful flair, with ex-Richmond utility Sydney Stack and former Falcon Trent Manzone the headline acquisitions alongside some exciting country footballers and fringe players from other WAFL clubs.
“That’s probably the biggest challenge out of everything. I’m really comfortable and very confident that we’ve done really well off the field over the last few years, and we’ve got a lot of things put into place, but to be able to recruit older-type players, that’s probably the most difficult part,” German said.
“Our brand hasn’t been great in terms of playing finals, so you find a lot of the older players when you try and recruit them, they want to go to a club that want to have success.
“That’s why we’ve probably done really well with the young kids, because some of the young kids that we’ve attracted to the club can see the great opportunity.”
The WAFL will kick off on Easter Weekend in April, with the fixture still being hammered out after clubs pushed back against the WAFC’s proposal for an elongated season.
IMAGE: Perth FC Facebook.