Pressers never easy

The way a coach handles defeat says a lot about their character

AFTER-MATCH press conferences are not always easy for coaches or those in the media.

The frosty relationship between Carlton coach Mick Malthouse, pictured, and Channel 7's Mark Stevens has become colder after each match the Blues have played.

I do not know the history between Mick and Mark, but the manner in which the coach has answered questions, or not, throughout the 2014 AFL season is astounding.

It's not just when the Blues have been beaten that Malthouse has been terse at the pressers.

No coach likes being beaten, but the way they handle defeat says a lot about their character.

Mick Malthouse may be a completely different personality away from the glare of the television lights and a roomful of reporters.

Despite coaching in more than 700 AFL matches and doing as many after-match pressers, Malthouse has revealed he is not comfortable doing so.

Comfortable or not, it's part of the game that is crucial in giving fans an insight to what went right, what went wrong, ways to respond to defeat and more.

Carlton's play against Port Adelaide on Friday night was terrible, so Malthouse had every right to be frustrated.

He is not the first coach to feel that way.

Legendary coaches such as Allan Jeans and John Kennedy gave little away at press conferences, but they were never as grumpy as what Malthouse can be.

Maybe Mick should have a look at how Paul Roos at Melbourne, Alan Richardson at St Kilda, or Leon Cameron at Greater Western Sydney have dealt with defeat and the after-match discussions.

Malthouse is a three-time premiership coach who is fast approaching the record as most games coached.

Many West Coast fans were not happy when a Victorian, who was born and raised in Ballarat, was appointed coach.

After the Eagles premiership victories in 1992 and '94, Malthouse was one of the most popular figures in the west.

When Collingwood swooped to lure Mick Malthouse to Victoria Park in 2000 it was hailed as one of the greatest coups in football history.

It took a decade, but the Malthouse-coached Collingwood achieved premiership glory in 2010.

After Collingwood's decision to appoint Nathan Buckley as coach, Malthouse decided to leave the Magpies.

His year-long break from coaching was spent working with Channel 7 and Radio 3AW.

The insights of such a long-time and successful coach, who first played in the big league with St Kilda in 1972 and was a premiership player at Richmond in 1980, were fascinating.

It would be great if Malthouse's after-match pressers were more insightful, instead of leaving many footy fans wondering just what Mark Stevens did or did not do that's upset Mick so much.


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