TODAY marks a month since Michael Voss was announced as the new AFL Senior Coach of the Carlton Football Club.
Since he travelled from South Australia to Victoria without actually knowing whether he’d be leading the Blues in 2022 and beyond, it’s safe to say Voss and the football department has been busy in the last 30 days.
After being announced in the role on 23 September, the Club has welcomed an all-new assistant coaching panel in Tim Clarke, Aaron Hamill and Ashley Hansen, while also bringing in three players (Adam Cerra, George Hewett and Lewis Young) via the trade and free agency period.
Speaking at the John Nicholls Medal, Voss said that all involved at IKON Park have been hard at work, with the “significance of this job” not lost on the Australian Football Hall of Famer.
“It’s been fantastic to be able to walk through the halls of the Club,” Voss said.
“The highlights have been being able to talk to some former greats, having the chance to chat with them, but also spend some time with the players who are in Melbourne currently.
“The initial stage is purely them getting know me and me getting to understand their story: where they’ve been and what their hopes are.”
Voss stressed the importance of the personal side of the game, with the implementation of the game plan a clear focus when pre-season rolls around on November 22 for the first-to-four-year players.
He said the ensuing weeks would be understanding the playing group away from the field, “to spend time understanding each other and the story that we have to tell”.
“That’s where you form the first part of your identity. When you’re really clear on that, you can take that out and play on the football field,” he said.
“I’ve spent a bit of time doing that but also getting some perspective of where we’ve been in the last 12 months. While on the outside it may not look great, I look at it with optimism.
“I hope you have already noticed that we will not listen to external pressure of expectations.— Carlton FC (@CarltonFC) October 20, 2021
“Our club knows better than anyone the direction in which we’re heading, and we will not stop until we get there."
“There are things we can get to straight away and change our fortunes pretty quickly.”
As for the new coaching group, as well as reuniting with “my old mate” Luke Power and working with VFL Senior Coach Daniel O’Keefe, Voss was full of praise and excitement for what’s to come.
“The objective was to put the best support around these guys to be able to get the best out of themselves,” he said.
“I couldn’t have asked for a better group.
“They’re enormously hard workers, team-oriented and they coach really well. They will spend every minute with the players to make them better.”