The Goulburn Stags Football Club have begun preparations for their title defense by hiring Tony Moffitt as their new coach.
The Stags, who won the 2018 and 2019 first grade STFA premierships, were approached by Moffitt after he recently moved to Goulburn, and were impressed by his coaching pedigree.
"Tony contacted us via Facebook, he'd done a bit of research on us online and made contact," club president Craig Norris said.
"He talked us through his style of play and philosophy and we thought it was a good fit."
Moffitt comes to the club off the back of an extremely successful tenure with the Bega Devils FC, whom he led to premierships in 2017, 2018, and 2019.
Having begun coaching when he moved to the Far South Coast, Moffitt was soon asked to coach at St Josephs Boys AFC in Dublin, Ireland.
During his eight months in Europe, Moffitt traveled across the continent and sought out coaches from Spain, Holland, England, and Wales who were among the best in the world.
"I just spent as much time as I could talking to coaches," Moffitt said.
"I networked and asked coaches who I could talk to next, and they'd recommend someone else and I'd fly to visit them.
"I spent 8 months learning from the best coaches in the world rather than reading books, because I like to be a bit more creative with how I learn."
Moffitt's knowledge and discipline will be a welcome change for the club, Norris said.
"For a long time we've been cruising along," he said.
"I've been looking after the men's side in a Saturday capacity. [Moffitt will] bring a workload to us and a bit of a culture change to the club.
"Also, the knowledge he'll bring to the junior coaches will put us in good stead."
The primary goal in Moffitt's mind as the season approaches is to introduce a higher level of professionalism into the Stags' playing style.
"I would very much like the Stags to play a more professional style of football," he said.
"The guys involved in that committee are very passionate and well-organised; I'm impressed with how the club is organised, and that is a big thing for me.
"The sorts of organisation and structure that I use take a bit of time to learn, but the guys are keen and enthusiastic. They want to play great football."
The new coach and the playing group have already gotten off on the right foot, Norris said, after a pre-season training session last week in which the players were "pretty impressed".
"[Moffitt] explained what he wanted to do and the boys embraced it," he said.
"He spoke to the leadership group as well as the committee, and he's the sort of coach the boys would have longed to have a run under. A season or two under him is something they deserve."
Moffitt's expertise comes at an ideal time for the club, as the competition is expected to become sterner this season.
Along with the introduction of the Goulburn Strikers club, who last played in 2017, Crookwell have also recruited well and are expected to be a more cohesive threat in 2020.
With less than three weeks until the season starts, Moffitt said structure and gameplay take precedence over fitness.
"This is going to seem surprising, but I've never been one for running laps and running up and down the field," he said.
"Football requires four minutes of explosive action, and then whatever's happened has happened. Fitness will come, but we've only got a few sessions before the start of the season. I'm more interested in explaining how we'll play.
"We'll do everything with the ball, so the guys will get fit while we train."
The STFA's season is expected to start on July 18, through all grades. Fixtures are yet to be released.
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