Glenn grabs new responsibilities with glee

NEW Carlton VFLW coach Glenn Strachan is adding much more to his plate this year, adding the VFLW coaching gig to his already existing role with the club’s AFLW side.

He is certainly excited to take on the double role, and the challenges that come with it.

“I think the group, ultimately, we’ve brought a lot of girls in from Coates League, and just the energy that they bring is so exciting,” he said. “Ultimately, like, we want to amalgamate our programs a little bit more. AFLW, VFLW, so, probably being able to work across both has just been the best part.

“It just gives me such energy to see the girls sort of coming and going from both programs.

“I don’t know if juggling is the right word. Like, I love being able to do both as a part of the role. I see our AFLW girls and our VFLW girls getting along, and that just gives me energy.  Some of our most experienced  AFLW players, like obviously Kerryn Peterson is the captain, was at me straight away about trying to get involved.

“I feel like they just blend together so well and that’s kind of the direction that we want to go down, having it all a part of one program.”

Also a part time teacher in Melbourne’s eastern suburbs, Strachan says that having that teaching background helps but does not necessarily make his roles at the Blues easier.

“It’s a good question,” he said. “I don’t know about easier. There’s definitely parts of teaching that I lean into.  Probably being in front of a group is not something new, and that’s always handy, but they’re a little bit different in some respects.

“I think when you deal with, with athletes who are really driven, and want to get the best out of yourself, it’s always good to coach those. So, I don’t know about easier, but it helps.”

Looking ahead to this season, Strachan is really pleased with how preseason has gone for his troops.

“VFLW really exciting, played a couple of practice matches against the Saints in Essendon, which was really good learnings for us,” he said. “We’re keen for round one against Geelong this weekend. “

Plenty of faces, both new and old, have impressed Strachan over the preseason. This includes returning faces and 2024 leaders Eliza Wood and Octavia Di Donato, fellow returning face Isabelle Khoury and new faces Isabella Parnell, Isla Baldwin, Simone Mooney, Hannah Bowey and Sophia McCarthy.

Strachan noted that the club is planning to continue with how they went about things last year, which saw them break through to make finals.

“Much of the same to be honest,” he said. “Like we’re, we’re largely driven by progress and so we want to make sure that we’re just always getting better. I mean, ultimately start of any season right here. Zero wins, zero losses. So at this point it’s just about how do we keep getting better? How, how do we internally look at things and try and make them as good as we can.”

Strachan also confirmed that there is a plan to play some AFLW listed Blues during the season.

“I mean, we’d love to, we’d love to play them all, but, ultimately it’s, it’s kind of week to week. It’s, who do we sit down and think can benefit from it? and then ultimately who do we think, you know, we’ll, we’ll benefit more from, from probably a training block.

“So, it’s, it’s going to change, but I think we’re really excited that we’ll, we’ll play some of the girls, um, particularly early in the year, but, it always changes and I think any time that we can get both programs together is a good thing, so hopefully there’ll be, plenty of crossover.”

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