FORMER Western Bulldogs coach Brendan McCartney believes clubs that have had their seasons abandoned this year still have the potential to gain plenty from 2020.
Most football-netball leagues across Victoria have abandoned their seasons due to the COVID-19 pandemic, with one of the few competitions still with the door ajar to the prospect of playing this year the Bendigo league.
But for those clubs that won't be taking to the field this year, McCartney - who spent the past two days at Strathfieldsaye with his Player Coach program - believes there's still much to be gained for the long-term.
"There is the chance for clubs to have an eye to the long-term and use this time to set yourself up," McCartney said on Tuesday.
There is the chance for clubs to have an eye to the long-term and use this time to set yourself up
"To be honest, I think if clubs use this time well then they could re-frame what they are about as a club.
"It could be a unique opportunity to reset your committee, look at roles and responsibilities, your junior program, your recruiting program, developing your coaches and establishing a really strong blueprint.
"I've been spending a fair bit of time with a club in Geelong (where competitions were cancelled on June 9) and they are doing that now... they are using this time to set themselves up for the next 10 years by making decisions around where they invest their money and what they want to be as a club.
"There will be smart clubs all around Australia using this as a real opportunity and there will be others sitting back on their heels waiting. The future belongs to the ones who plan for it."
Meanwhile, McCartney, who coached the Western Bulldogs from 2012 to 2014 and has also been an assistant at Richmond, Geelong, Essendon and Melbourne, is in his first year of running the Player Coach program with Susie Robinson.
"Player Coach is a growing business and what we're passionate about is helping junior clubs and junior coaches present and teach the game a bit differently in a way that helps youngsters prepare," McCartney said.
"All of our drills are around decision making and match-type scenarios.
"What we tend to do is drills with an out-number here and out-number there and we put them in the situation where they have enough time and space to make decisions of should they go over to the ball, hold out, or run to the next contest.
"We're venturing into holiday programs that are a little bit different. Some holiday programs that I've found through the experience of my own children are a little about child minding and entertainment, but this is about developing their ability to see the game and play the game.
"So that has brought us to Bendigo and we've had a fantastic couple of days.
"Bendigo is such a great footy heartland and always has been. Footy is alive and well and, hopefully, we're doing something that helps to keep youngsters connected.
"We want to be able to keep coming up here and running programs for youngsters."
As part of the holiday program at Strathfieldsaye, the first day also featured three-time Geelong premiership player Joel Corey.
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