Long-time Lion Lind retires
- Monday, 24 November 2014
Subiaco say farewell to another fixture from the “Glory Years” with ex-Football Manager and current Player Development Officer Jeff Lind departing.
Jeff has been a part of the Subiaco football club for 30 years and was an integral part of the Lions premiership period in the 2000’s.
With his list of roles spanning from Colts head coach to CEO Lind’s versatility and passion has shaped multiple facets of the Subiaco Football Club.
“I have been involved with the Subiaco Football Club for about 30 years. Starting as a part-time coach in junior football I never expected to be in the football business for this amount of time but I wouldn’t have it any other way.” Said Lind
Lind got his start at Subiaco developing the junior council combined sides before working with ex Subi Football Manager Trevor Nisbett who now serves as CEO of the West Coast Eagles in the AFL
“I started off my career as combined side coach for the under 13’s. Then in 1986 I was made the coach of a Subiaco all-stars junior team, said Lind
“From there we started the Lions Pride program for the elite 15 year olds at Subiaco and I worked alongside Trevor Nisbett in the program. In 1986-87 I helped him with the program and took it over in 1988.”
“I recruited Garry Peach to assist me when I coach of the Lions Pride and we ran it for about five years and together I believe we had enhanced the system.”
Lind’s dedication caught the eye of Subiaco’s football department who assigned him as an assistant Colts coach in 1990.
“In 1986 I gained my level two accreditation in coaching and I was one of the first in the state to do so. At that point I was totally hooked and I was excited to expand my coaching experience. By 1990 not only was I coaching a junior side and the Lions Pride but I also took on a role as assistant coach for the Subiaco Colts. My life was packed of footy and I was loving every second of it,
“I served as an assistant coach for the Colts program for three years until I took over as head coach in 1993,
“I coached the Colts for four years. The first year we came last and I was sitting there thinking I had been a dismal failure. But we would go on to make the finals the next three years including a grand final appearance in 1995.” Said Lind
Jeff Lind discusses with Mark Nicoski after Subiaco's 2006 WAFL premiership
Lind faced a crossroad in his football career until the Football Manager role became available in 1996. Turning his back on a higher paid job with the government; Lind followed his passion further into football.
“By 1996 I was at a crossroads with football. I was finished with coaching but another position came up in the form of Football Manager. At 47 I was probably dis-content with my government job despite the fact I was getting paid well. I was progressing up the chain on the corporate side but when the opportunity came up to make football a full time job I jumped at it,
Lind took the role in the middle of a 16 year premiership drought and attributes the club’s turn-around partially to the efforts of Kevan Sparks and Kim Williamson.
“Our league side had come last when I took the Football Manager role in 1996 so we had a lot of work to do,
“Earlier in the year Kim Williamson had been appointed General Manager and would be a major part of the club for ten years. Kim and I would become close friends during our time working together. Peter Thorne was appointed as league coach the same year and we attempted to rebuild the club,
“Thorne lasted two years and then Kevan Sparks took over at the end of 1998. The next few years would be my most enjoyable period working for the Subiaco Football Club,
“Working with Kevan Sparks as league coach we were able to turn around the culture in my opinion and change the direction of the club. You can’t change culture over-night, It takes a lot of work and effort to change the attitudes around a football club and Sparksy and Williamson were a big part of it.” Said Lind
Sparks resigned after four years at the helm and Peter German came in to polish off a remarkable turn-around for the club.
“ A lot of people align the recent success of the Subiaco Football Club with the arrival of Peter German but in all honesty he added the polish to a movement that was already in place. Sparksy had made significant changes amongst the player group and German had the hard-nosed professionalism to cap it off with premierships,
“ There was a lot of pressure to win a premiership because most of the board had enjoyed in the success of the 80’s and expected it to simply continue. Football doesn’t always work like that and to see us get so close and fall of multiple times was agonising,
“ In 2004 we won finally won the premiership as I was serving as the Football Manager. For me it wasn’t a moment of celebration but a moment of relief. We had gotten so close so many times before but fell short. It was a massive relief for the entire football club to break through in 2004.
Lind took over the CEO role in 2006 and amazingly won three premierships in his first three years in the role. Rather than being overwhelmed by the occasion Lind embraced the club’s successes alongside his hard-working colleagues.
“ I took over as Chief Executive Officer in 2006 and we went on to win three premierships in three years. We had laid a platform for the success and finally achieved what we were aiming for. We had a board that had worked tirelessly for years so we embraced the success as a team.” Said Lind
With the dust settling from the premiership hat trick Lind transitioned from different roles including media and player development. With the club managing another premiership in 2014 season Lind decided to look towards the next phase of his life with immense pride.
“ I’m hoping to do a fair bit of travel next year and spend some quality time with the family so I’m excited to embark into the next stage of my life,
“Garry Peach and I have already made a pact to watch the Subi games from the bank and drop into the bar after the game for a beer. It’s going to be interesting watching as a spectator but it’s something I’m looking forward to.” Added Lind
Jeff Lind leaves Subiaco with undoubted appreciation for his contributions to the club and used his departing words to credit few key influences on his career.
“The people that have had the greatest influence on my time at the football club would be Kim Williamson and Neil Randall. Williamson was a close ally of mine for numerous years and Randall was the one that always gave me support to implement changes,
“I would also like to give a massive amount of credit to my wife Trudi. Having a wife that had the tolerance and support for someone who wanted to pursue football in a full-time capacity was fantastic. She pulled me in line when I needed to be, but was always 100% supportive.” Said Lind
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