ALL ABOUT PRODUCING SENIOR PLAYERS

4 FEB 2015 | BY JUSTIN GROSE

We recently caught up with and interviewed 2014 Development Coach Martin Stillman, we opened by asking “Stilly” how he enjoyed himself last year.

I really enjoyed my first season at the club he declared.

As soon as I attended the interview for the coaching position with Hammer (Football Director Mark Hamilton) and Bushy (Senior Coach Peter Bastinac) I knew the club was professional and going in the right direction.

The committee, coaches and players together with the supporters made me feel most welcome at Rowville from the first training session. It would have been an even better year, had the seniors PLAYED in the finals and the Development Team won the Grand Final, perhaps this season?

Yes, I really enjoy the spirit around the football club and never say die attitude.

Everyone is on the same page all heading in the one direction, the club motto “One Club One Culture” is a true reflection of the club. I enjoyed working with the coaching staff and coaching a terrific bunch of young blokes.

The burger on the hill after each home GAMES was pretty good also, he added.

Stilly has lived in Wheelers Hill most of my life and PLAYED sport in the South Eastern Suburbs at numerous clubs including Mulgrave and the Waverley Blues in the EFL. Pretty much like most kids it was Football in the winter and Cricket in the summer, still is.

He went on to tell us, I enjoy all sport and have been extremely fortunate to have worked in sport for the past 27 years at AFL Victoria for 21 years – 15 as the VFL General Manager. I’ve also spent time in Motor Sport, Tennis and are now the CEO of Little Athletics Australia and have met some terrific people through my involvement in sport.

He is happily married to the beautiful Bridie and they have two adorable young daughters, Alexandra and Alana. My Saturdays now are a mixture of my girls dancing followed by football at Rowville, it’s quite a contrast Stilly laughed.

Back on football matters with the glint of family pride still in his eye he said, obliviously it was my first season at Rowville in 2014 and with a new senior coach and coaching staff comes a new game style and game plan.

It’s difficult for me to compare 2014 to previous seasons under Monster, but I believe we did EARN a lot of respect from the other EFL clubs by the way we went about our football. The club had already earned respect for the way the club has gone about the transition from Division 4 to Division 1.

Stilly went on, last year we were tough opposition week in week out at the Premier level. As a club we demonstrated last year we can mix it with the “Big Clubs” by defeating Balwyn and Noble Park and we should have defeated Vermont as well.

I felt we let ourselves down with our skills at crucial times last season, I believe our turn overs cost us. If we can improve our disposal by foot it will ensure we WIN more games this season.

This year we have a tough draw. I believe the opposition clubs will give us more respect and therefore more planning and time will go into trying to defeat us. I’m confident the senior team can take the NEXT step and play Division 1 EFL finals.

Naturally it would also be nice to have a few more dollars to compete with the Big Club when recruiting each off season, however it is a strength of the Rowville Football Club the number of juniors who have come through TO PLAY seniors at Rowville.

However, as the Development coach my role is to develop as many players as possible TO PLAY good quality EFL Division 1 football and reach their maximum potential. So if I can help develop another half a dozen or so players to come from the Under 19’s and Development Team to taste senior football this year, Stilly advised.

It will be beneficial for the clubs future and l am committed to that role.

Personally it would be great to walk off with a premiership medal at Bayswater at seasons end and I felt the players deserved to WIN the flag last year. Stilly closed by saying hopefully it’s a driving force for those players to go a step further in 2015.

THINGS WE LEARNT ABOUT “STILLY”

Favourite song Times like These (Foo Fighters)

Favourite movie Night at the Roxbury

AFL team Collingwood

Other sports you watch/play Cricket and Golf

Favourite holiday destination Thailand

Favourite restaurant Geppetto Trattoria in East Melbourne

Favourite dish Chicken Parma

3 people you would invite to dinner Al Pacino, Sir Vivian Richards and Dane Swan