Tom Bowes Bringing the Goannas Into Line

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Tom Bowes (left) with star forward Luke Eyes (right)

Tom Bowes (left) with star forward Luke Eyes (right)

Meeting with Tom Bowes, the Goannas new coach, I admit to feeling a wee bit nervous. With a temper to match Charlie Sheen, and a stare colder than a VB fresh out the fridge, I found myself sweating during the interview and my hands were wrung until they were a meshed mass of flesh and bones. Then I remembered footy is a big deal. This is why they get paid the big bucks and I get paid a reasonable amount to ask the big questions. So from there I manned up and made sure I didn’t wither away too quickly.

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Q: How have you handled the hot seat so far? Have you felt the pressure?

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Tom Bowes: I was very surprised to be pushed into the hot seat, but as you know I have quite a sophisticated INAX heated toilet seat at home so I am used to handling them. Do I feel the pressure following on from a premiership-winning 2 time best and fairest and 3 time all-JAFL star? Yes.

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Word is after a subpar year on the field last year, you have put in an unprecedented flogging of the boys on the track this year. How have they stood up?

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I have been very impressed by the pre-season training of a number of our players. I hope they keep it up. For the senior guys, this fitness base will give them confidence to be on field leaders and show the way for some of our new players. 

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How will you attempt to fill in the shoes of Robbie Scarlett on the field this year?

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By staying off it.

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It is well known the Japanese teams have run the Goannas off their legs in years past, and they seem to grow stronger every year. What have you put in place to combat this?

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The strength of the Japanese teams goes well beyond their running ability, but they definitely have that. I think there are game plans which limit the effectiveness of fit and fast teams.

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Do you think the Goannas are ready to make the top 4 this year?

 

Yes, absolutely, but we will need a big and healthy roster to do so. Last year, when we had most of our first choice team and a full bench we showed in the last round that we were not far off the best side. I think we can make up the gap, but it relies on the commitment of the playing group to train hard and make themselves available. Most of all, I want to encourage past players and new players, even if completely new to the game, to come and get involved. Goannas footy is a great experience and many hands makes light work.  It’s been great to see big numbers at training already this year.

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After he ripped you guys apart last year in the Goannas first ever 100 point loss, how will you try to stop Michito this year?

 

Anthony ‘Oceans’ Huynh is the man for the job I reckon. I’ll be backing him to punish Michito going the other way.

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Who is flying this pre-season?

 

Grant Wales and Dan Last are setting the standard running, and it’s brilliant to have new talent like Sorin Ridgway-Browne showing the way.

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Who will have to fire/take a step up in development for the Goannas to make an impact this year.

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Evan Kerr and Luke Eyes looked super sharp skills wise and tactically at training , and I am hoping to be able to call on the all round cross-fitness of Rich Binnie and Patrick Selinger early in the year. I think the one to watch is Dirk van Dalen. He’s had a small taste of JAFL football and looked very much at home. Time to hit play on the DVD I say.

 

I heard you have been known to give a good roasting. When do you think you will give the boys a spray this year?

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If my Inax could talk, it would tell you that my sprays are ferocious and are to be avoided at all costs.

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Who is showing the biggest guns this time of the year at training?

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In my view, Travis ‘Arms’ Wilson is showing the biggest guns this time of year at training. Was it really necessary to ask?

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Some people have questioned the players’ party first attitude in recent times, even installing the wildest of them all as the new president. What are your thoughts?

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As you know I have been loudest among the critics and I unashamedly backed the local constabulary in their repeated efforts to bring Dan into line. I think the message is finally getting through for Dan. My decision to assign a permanent minder to him when he goes out seems to have done the trick. With this ‘pusher’ bought under control I am confident the boys can find the right balance in season 2014.

 

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