SANFL captain Ian Callinan is the perfect role model for Adelaide’s development squad, says coach Heath Younie.
A Liston Trophy winner, Jack Oatey medallist and four-time SANFL premiership player, Callinan was made to wait until age 28 to receive an AFL opportunity. The Tasmanian was rookie-listed by Adelaide at the end of 2010, and played 32 games in three seasons with the Club.
He was recently appointed as an assistant development coach at West Lakes; a role he will fulfil while also leading the Crows State League team on the field.
Younie said Callinan’s experience would be invaluable to the development group.
“Ian is a bubbly personality and a great character to have around the Club. Ian’s still learning the coaching caper, but other than his enthusiasm the main thing Ian brings is his story,” Younie said.
“I think it gets lost a bit, just what Ian was able to achieve as a 28-year-old. He persisted at state league level for 10 years, so his story is great for these (development squad) guys … they can lean on ‘Nutta’ and get some advice on what hard work and persistence can do.
“Hopefully, in the next few weeks we’ll get James Podsiadly into one of the meetings too because his story is similar. He started at Geelong as a development/top-up player and three years later he was a premiership player.
“Some of these guys could potentially be in the same boat.”
Former AFL and SANFL forward Jarrod Cotton has also joined Adelaide’s SANFL coaching team.
A member of Port Adelaide’s inaugural (AFL) squad, Cotton will work as a part-time midfield coach.
“Jarrod is a very smart footballer. He had three or four years at Norwood under Nathan Bassett, so he’s a wealth of knowledge. He’s been fantastic and will continue to grow,” Younie said.
A development coach at Adelaide in 2013, Younie will coach in his own right for the first time since mentoring North Adelaide’s Under-18 team for two years before being snapped up by the Crows.
“It’s great. Your competitive juices get flowing again. I love coaching. When you’ve got a small group of 20, you can really get down to the nitty gritty and educate the players – that’s what this process is about. It’s about winning, but also educating and, hopefully, giving a few kids an opportunity to get better and chase the dream of playing AFL football or at the highest level possible,” Younie said.
“I’m really enjoying it. The other development coaches, Ian Callinan, Tate Kaesler, Peter Jonas and Jarrod Cotton, are enjoying it as well. What some people, externally, underestimate is the work behind the scenes that’s taken place. From administration, at Board level and in the football department, we’ve created a side from scratch. The development coaches are working some long hours. There is some hard working going on, but it’s all for the benefit of our players.
“We want to help fast-track our players and, ultimately, win an AFL premiership and have success at State League level as well.”
Adelaide’s newest draftees, Matt Crouch, Riley Knight, Charlie Cameron, James Battersby, Jake Kelly and Alex Spina are likely to develop their games in the SANFL next year. Younie said the latest group of Crows had slotted in perfectly.
“All of the recruits have fitted right in. They’re all great characters, which isn’t surprising because we only bring good characters into our footy club,” he said.
“Matt Crouch is a proven ball winner. Charlie Cameron is exciting and James Battersby has played a lot of senior footy, which is evident on the training track. They’re all talented guys.
“We’re excited, but they’re only 18, so we’ve got to be patient to see what they can produce.”
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