Director's Desk - Talent & Country Update

At last year’s AGM, one of the key discussion topics centred on the Subiaco development pathway and how we ensure we continue to provide a best in class model. 
Following the discussion, I committed to providing updates to the members on how we are progressing.  As such, please see following for an overview of an internal review we recently completed.
Going into the 2017 season, we identified three key themes;
1.     People: Create a framework where can ensure we attract, retain, develop and promote the best coaches and support staff.
2.     Talent Progression: Fast-track our talent by creating individual development plans for every player involved at the club as well as developing a consistent approach to what we do.
3.     Program & Operational Excellence: Build a strong foundation to ensure our programs continue to be best in class.
I am pleased that since this time we have made significant progress in all three areas and I would like to call out major highlights.  
The primary focus for this year has been working with the newly created coaching development sub-committee led by Dwayne Lamb and Andrew Lockyer. The goal of this group is to develop a coaching pathway and to ensure there is a consistent message at every level of the club. This includes out into the local and country districts.
This framework has seen all club coaches receive individual development and succession plans as well as a more formalized approach to the way we communicate between each level of football.
In addition, we have also had a keen focus on developing a more rounded approach to the way we support our players, coaches and support staff. As a result, we have formalised an expanded welfare program. The goal of this program is to provide additional support to our people in an off-field capacity.
Talent Progression
Similar to our increased focus on formalising the development of our coaching and support staff, from a talent standpoint our focus for the first part of 2017 has been about fast-tracking our youth players.
This has resulted in the introduction of the ‘Lions Pride Talent Academy’, which sees a handful of our 16-year old players move to a focused development group within the colt’s program. The goal of this program is to develop each player by exposing them to a higher level of the game in a structured and balanced environment.
While in its infancy, the program is being extended to the Goldfields and Esperance country zones where we have also set up talent academies.

Program & Operational Excellence
Finally, operational excellence and longevity in what we develop is at the core of all our efforts. As the group responsible for the club’s future players, we need to ensure that our programs, processes and governance develops a foundation for ongoing success – regardless of who is involved.
Along with our Talent Manager Michael Farmer and the wider Football Operations Department, we are breaking down every aspect of our program with a goal of building long-standing success. This will ensure that we safe guard the club’s success against the transient and dynamic nature of the football environment.
Ill also take this opportunity to thank everyone who has been involved in these efforts to date. We have great people at this football club of which none of this would be possible without them.
I look forward to updating the members again soon.
Russell Smith
Director, Talent & Country

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