CARLTON’S new Head of Coaching Performance can’t wait to get stuck in at Ikon Park.
Henry Playfair was announced in the role on Tuesday afternoon, joining new Head of Development Luke Power as the additions to Carlton’s coaching panel.
Playfair arrives after eight seasons in a coaching capacity, beginning as Sydney’s NEAFL coach while he was also involved in the 2012 AFL Premiership as forwards coach.
More recently, Playfair has spent the last two years as the team defence coach of St Kilda, overseeing one of the most-improved defensive units of 2019.
Speaking to Carlton Media, Playfair detailed the role which he’ll be taking on for the 2020 season.
“My role will be Head of Coaching Performance, which is essentially looking after the coaches and really helping them coach to the best of their ability,” Playfair said.
“I’ll also be supporting Teaguey in the role of head coach, which can be quite demanding as we all know — I’ll be supporting him in a number of off-field and on-field issues, and also Brad Lloyd.
“That’s not only for the men’s program but also the women’s programs, and the VFL at both levels too. That’s essentially the role and one I’m really looking forward to.”
With a seven-year playing career at Geelong and Sydney coming prior to his foray into coaching, Playfair has seen both sides of the football landscape.
Over that time, he said he has come to terms with the importance of having an understanding of both people and the game.
“Those two things are critical, and I’ve really enjoyed the people side: it’s probably where my strength is and where my bigger learnings have come from,” he said.
“One of my main assets is the ability to connect with people and really understand them on a deep enough level to maximise their performance.
“It’s also important to add other strings to your bow to round you out as a coach, which you only develop through time and experience.”
When it came to a question about his new home, Playfair was matter-of-fact about his excitement levels in getting to work with an emerging playing group.
In particular, he said the signs shown in the second half of 2019 showed what the group is capable of.
“My perception of the Carlton playing list from the outside looking in was really positive. They’re building a fantastic list here,” he said.
“It’s young, that’s the exciting thing. It’s all positive for me.
“They’re a massive club and to get them up-and-running would be great for the competition. It’s something I’m really excited about.”