David Minnis on what he is excited about in 2019
Brisbane City stalwart David Minnis is back in City colours for another season, and spoke to the Brisbane City website about what he is looking forward to in 2019, including another exciting year of coaching NPL and SAP, the importance of extra sessions, and the all important Spain tour.
After successfully guiding City’s Under 14 NPL team to the grand final last year, David acknowledged his excitement about taking this years crop of youngsters on the same path, however he admitted that coaching at SAP level is equally exciting for him personally.
“I like doing the under 14 age group because it’s their first year in that game training aspect,” David explained.
“They’ve had that grounding with SAP, the majority of players have been through our SAP program for a few years, so it’s good to work with those boys again, some of which I have worked with at Under 10/11, and it’s good to see them again in those older age groups.”
“I’m really enjoying coaching the younger ones too though while still very much enjoying coaching the older ones and that’s something I want to continue doing for the years to come.
“I think though, from a personal point of view, a development point of view, I am still happy and interested in training two different age groups with a good, three to four year difference between them.
“That keeps me in that SAP environment and also in that game training environment where results start coming into it a bit more.
“I may or may not specialise in any particular scope in the future, we’ll wait and see, but for now I’m happy to continue with that mix of younger and older.”
David has been at City for a number of years now, and seen plenty of coaches come and go, but he was as excited as he has ever been to work with the calibre of coaches that City have assembled for this coming season.
“Definitely,” David said. “It’s always great when we get these types of coaches coming in to work with us, with loads of experience and qualifications, some who have coached at the top level, either in this country of overseas.
“You can learn so much from other coaches, probably more off them than you would from a coaching course.
“It’s great having this calibre of coaches to work with, and will help make us better coaches as well.”
One of the principle concerns coaches and players have in Australian football is the amount of contact hours players have with their coaches, a number that is often lagging behind those who play in Europe.
Brisbane City moved to address this discrepancy by introducing the MyCity mentoring programs, extra sessions, run by David for players aged between “under 8’s mainly, up to under 14/15’s.”
“It’s a good way to get some extra training in for a lot of these boys, particularly if they are looking to improve certain aspects of their game,” David said.
“All the sessions are age specific and ability specific, but it’s good to mix in different players from different programs as well, so we might have academy kids in with SAP kids, or BYPL in with NPL, or maybe Under 10 in with an under 12 if their abilities are similar,” David said.
“It’s a good way of seeing players in that individual or small group basis.”
David explains that although these sessions are particularly important for the younger age groups, there can be benefits for players throughout the club.
“With the younger players, under 8’s to under 12’s, from a technical aspect it’s important to have lots of time and touches on the ball,” David said.
“For the older ones, they generally have gone past that stage so it’s more difficult to improve those areas as much – but you still can. It’s just about tailoring the program. There are lots of different things we can do.”
In terms of how he identifies areas to work on, David explained that players often drive the areas that they identify as needing work, before he then refines that scope.
“You do get some specific targets from players,” David explained, “so obviously you start training them and working on those areas and from that you might see, ‘actually it’s not this, maybe it’s this’.”
“The small group sessions are probably better for that, because they are working with other players.
“With one-on-ones it’s a bit different because you’re breaking down the skills and you can work solely on those things. With the group sessions, a player might have a skill they want to work on and that’s really good because you get to test them against another player.”
Another of David’s pet-projects is the annual Costa Daurada/Donosti Cup Tour of Spain, an intense, two week trip to Europe during which a team of under 10’s to under 16’s get the chance to test themselves in a straight, knock out competition against players from all around the world.
David is a staunch advocate for the tour and believes that the experience is invaluable to the development of young players.
“They are in an environment that they don’t get in Australia.
“It’s high intensity, high pressured tournament football, which you just don’t get here. And although it might only be an under 11 game, the atmosphere and intensity of the games is something they’ll never experience here.
“It’s amazing, and as a coach, you kind of get sucked into it as well.
“From my point of view, being in that situation where you have to win, so yes you’re still developing them, but it’s a knock out, you have to win this game or we’re finished.
“It’s a test for everyone, and that’s why we go on these tours.”
“Spain is obviously a great country to visit, coming in the middle of the year it’s a good little break for myself and a chance for the players to experience something outside of their usual environment.
“They come back a little bit tired but then recharge and have all these new abilities and experiences that they’ve picked up on this tour that they can take into the rest of the season and beyond.”