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Responding to challenges


Its been a bumpy start for our latest Under 19s team and coach, but this provides fertile ground for Greg Coleman to teach his new charges how to respond to challenges.

His own young footy experience is one tale of adversity he draws on; theres nothing like being big enough to admit your own mistakes.

Greg had a promising junior career which he gave up prematurely because of negative coaching and says the regret around his young decision was a real driver in returning to coach football.

Id had a good playing year, making interleague, but just as footy doors were opening, I tossed it in due to a bad relationship with a berating coach.

I couldnt be convinced to play again next season not by other club officials, nor mates. I kick myself now because I let one person stand in the way of the game I loved.Its a huge regret made worse by watching my friends win the flag the next year!

I recall a speaker at one of the AFL coaching courses I attended when starting out with juniors, saying You will be remembered, its a question of what for So I try to be encouraging and developing.Focus on the journey rather than destination./p>

After some big losses so far this season, Fitzroys newest team is still finding its feet. Greg says his goal is just to improve, both individually and as a team. In a tough division, we cant think finals, and some days, not even final score. Its about the fun that comes with putting in as a team. Im talking to them about effort and attitude. The sense of accomplishment you get from having worked hard./p>

Having retired from his Fitzroy Junior coaching successful persuaded by Michael Pickering to take on the Under 19 (2) role Greg is very conscious that part of his gig is creating the pathway from the Colts to seniors.

Given he coached Nino (Needles) Lazzaro - best and fairest in his Colts Division 2 team two years ago his past work in the juniors is certainly paying dividends for the senior team right now.

He says the team bonding and the relationship between the two Under 19 teams (the other coached by Tim Bell) is great.

Greg started his involvement with Fitzroy Juniors at Auskick when his son Daniel started playing, first as a dad on the sidelines, then match day roles and running, eventually stepping into coaching at the Under 13 level. He coached for five years with the Juniors, including two years at the Colts level.

He said it is a proud achievement that his teams went up a division every year for the first four years he was coaching.

We never won a flag but it was all about improvement and development and providing an enjoyable environment to play./p>

In terms of creating closer links between the Fitzroy Senior and Junior clubs, Greg also says what he loves is seeing young men going back to help the juniors and cites the example of Monty Stuart as a definite role model. Some of his young Colts players from last year would also return the favour by running water for the Seniors.

In terms of his connections with the Fitzroy Football Club, Greg is also the father of Remy Coleman, Fitzroy-ACUs inaugural winner of the Elaine Findlay Perpetual Trophy as the best and fairest in Fitzroys first womens team. Remy is now studying in Townsville, where she took her love of footy to help the local uni team win the flag last year. Rem misses the Roys, and her old team mates.But is loving seeing what they are achieving in the Womens Premier so far this year

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