Bulls to adopt fresh approach
PREPARING for his fifth season as Ipswich City Bulls coach, Trent Abel sounds refreshed and happy with how the club is looking for 2011.
Like the players who endure a long season, Abel said it was important coaches take some time out as he has in recent weeks.
But what has been different this year has been having a complete break after the football season, instead of rushing back to play cricket.
“It’s good to have a little bit of time off,” Abel said, planning to start Bulls’ training on January 3.
“I’m actually enjoying not having to get up on a Saturday.
“I feel pretty good now. Last year, I felt a bit flattish.
“These last couple of months have been good to recharge the batteries.”
The Bulls kick off their Division 1 season in February.
After a recent information night for the players, Abel has introduced a leadership group for the first time.
He’s appointed Mark Fancourt, Chris Speranza, Chris Denman, Brad Hyland, Adam O’Sullivan and Norbert Duga to set the standards for players.
“It’s just for the players to look after themselves as players,” Abel said.
“Some guys just don’t feel comfortable talking to coaches one-on-one.”
In other key developments, former State League player Danny Wilson will be Abel’s assistant coach and Kyle Miller will be football operations manager for the 2011 season.
Proud clubman Dan Burnell has taken over the Reserve Grade coaching role from Brett Kitching.
From early January, Abel is planning three sessions a week – on Monday, Tuesday and Thursday nights – leading up to the Bulls’ opening game.
“I don’t think I’ve ever started before Christmas,” Abel said.
“If you do the three nights a week for five weeks, I think that’s enough.
“Most of the lads are doing their own sort of stuff anyway.”
Looking back on the Bulls’ 2010 season, Abel said his team had plenty to work with, having just missed the top six finals.
“We lacked a little bit of depth in those crucial times and with those injuries and suspensions,” he said.
However, he continues to admire the camaraderie at the Brassall-based club he’s been involved with for 13 years.
“We always say the hardest part for us as a club is getting players to the club. The easy part is keeping them,” Abel said.
“Once the guys get into the groove and see what it’s all about, they are more than happy. They enjoy their football, they enjoy their time.
“They’re all just mates.”