Swans AFL Team Appoint Alistair Shiells Head Coach for 2017
The Vietnam Swans Australian Football club have appointed long time club supporter Alistair Shiells as the head coach for 2017. Saturday saw Al announced as coach to the Saigon playing group and leading his first session for the season attended by a good showing of 25 players.
Al has a long history with the Swans and football back in Australia. He has spent plenty of time with the club while visiting his nephew (former Swans gun mid and president) Nick Shiells. Nick’s tragic passing hasn’t softened Al’s passion for the club his nephew raved about and now with a business opportunity seeing him back in Vietnam permanently he hasn’t hesitated to put his hand up to take on the coaching position in 2017.
Sport in Saigon caught up with Al to get his thoughts on being at the helm of the Swans in 2017.
SIS: Hey Al, How was the first hitout of the 2017 season?
Al: I think pretty good start, already can see we have some work to do but I know we can get good results this year. I was really impressed by a few of the boys and can see great potential in the rest. I was happy with the reposes from the boys as well and can see we can make up some good ground throughout this season.
Al: Knowing a lot about the Swans and seeing some of the good things they have been involved with is impressive for sure. Any involvement with the Swans is a heart felt honour so being a coach is about a lot of things that build of the back of being a great team of mates.
SIS: What are your expectations from the club on field this season?
Al: My expectations are to be the best we can be at all levels. To be inclusive of each other, honest and respectful to the team and ourselves. To be constructive to each other and not critical, show pride in ourselves and respect to our our opponents as this reflects our club. Being a Swan comes with a history of great people and we should respect that always!
SIS: What is unique about coaching here that you’re most looking forward to?
Al: Being a coach is just one person so as in all clubs it will a big part of what I do to ensure we have direction and team discipline in place to make us the team we aspire to be. Things that will be tougher (coaching) here is not having regular games, not training 2 or 3 times a week and maintaining match fitness. But I’m really looking forward to the challenges ahead!!
Swans player Oliver Du Rieu put together a short clip of the session: