EJ Garrett is relishing the chance to coach the West End A grade side in 2012.
EJ Garrett is relishing the chance to coach the West End A grade side in 2012. Claudia Baxter

Garrett to lift Bulldogs' belief

WHILE a lover and avid student of rugby league, the new man in the hot seat at West End brings a wide range of influences to his newest role.

EJ Garrett has been appointed new head coach of the Bulldogs for the 2012 Ipswich Rugby League season.

Garrett moved to Ipswich with son Ray, who plays for the club, from Central Queensland two years ago.

He coached the club's under-16s in 2010.

He has previously been captain-coach of Fitzroy in the Rockhampton A grade competition.

"I just love the game," Garrett said. "It has so much to offer young blokes.

"It teaches them about fitness, discipline and responsibility.

"And there's a big social side to it, which I love."

The club has already begun pre-season training with Garrett determined to implement the right attitude and habits from the start, then carry them into the 2012 season.

"We've got about 20 blokes showing up," he said. "They're short sessions that go for about an hour and the blokes get stuck in."

With West End lacking the financial resources of some of their rivals, Garrett is determined to get more out of the existing squad, rather than go looking for new signings.

West End also lacks the size in the forwards of some of their rivals.

It is not size, but belief, which Garrett sees as the vital ingredient in any West End revival.

"The players they've had for the past two seasons are really capable," Garrett said.

"So we're focusing on them.

"They're tough and committed.

"They'll match any forward pack if they're scoring points.

"Today's league is about momentum.

"If the players can maintain their aggression and commitment, we're in with a chance."

Instilling the belief they can beat the likes of Brothers could be Garrett's biggest challenge.

"My approach is we start the comp now," he said.

"We start the battle now, competing at training so that when the start of the season comes around, we won't know when to give up. When we get into position to score, if we do score, the confidence will build."

There will be no revolutionary tactics or left-field methods for the players to try and grasp.

The focus will be doing the simple things as well as possible.

"It's in the detail," Garrett said.

"I won't have any clever game plan. It's all about execution.

"We can generate that self-belief if we do things right."

Garrett draws upon a wide range of influences in his coaching, with the focus more on leadership than strategy.

"Some of the leadership I've been exposed to includes corporate leaders who've shown some good approaches to deliver team leadership," he said.

He also highly rates the influence of John Harbin, the former Central Queensland rugby league mentor.



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