Box Hill United senior women’s coach Brian Roberts feels the club are going in the right direction but should aim higher to establish themselves dominantly.
Roberts arrived at the club in July 2017 and was awarded the 2018 NPLW Coach of the Year after guiding the ladies to the Team App Cup final.
The head coach reviewed last season’s journey saying, “It was a massive learning curve for myself because it was the first year full-season in the NPLW. Prior to that, I was predominantly in the men’s game. To be awarded the ‘Coach of the Year’ from my fellow coaches in the NPLW is a nice touch. We are all in the same boat. We all work hard to strive for success and put a lot of time and effort into what we do. We are not perfect, we make mistakes. But it’s all learning and I am in a lot better place this year than I was last year.”
Moreover, United’s under-16s clinched the NPLW championships, and senior goalkeeper Alyssa Dall’Oste bagged the year-end NPLW Goalkeeper of the Year medal.
Although encouraged by the progress made by Box Hill’s women’s program, the 51-year-old warned against complacency, saying, “It certainly shows that they have been consistent over these years in what they do, but we can always probably get a little bit too comfortable. We have to try to get ourselves out of that bubble and try to hit that top-four.
“Traditionally, Box Hill have been quite big in the women’s game and had all their success, and all the great players that came through the club. But that needs to be repeated. That is going to take time because you have got some big clubs – the Bulleens; the South Melbournes; the Alameins. We have to chase these clubs and start before they get too far ahead.”
Describing his vision, the former Sunshine George Cross and Reading FC striker said, “We can try to strive for the top-four, it’s going to take a little while. We have got so many new faces at the club. But my philosophy of putting on an extremely good brand of football won’t change. For all that to come together, we have to work hard. A lot of these [women’s] teams are quite physical, strong and powerful in the way they play the game. I’ll try and bring a different brand of football. Technique is certainly something I work hard on with my players. If they are going to progress as players and us as a team, we have got to put something different on the park, a product that this club can be proud of. It’s not easy to do, to achieve so quickly, but that will hopefully give us the rewards for all the hard work that we have done.”
As someone who has travelled widely, plying his trade in no less than four countries and representing the New Zealand national team, the boss feels his playing career has moulded his coaching philosophy profoundly.
Roberts said, “The styles varied through the countries. These things you learn as a player, and the environment and so many things done differently in every part of the world; and that’s what makes football such a great game. All those little pieces put together have popped into my head over the years. Now as a coach, I am trying to deliver and handle that in the correct manner, so that the players understand what I am saying. I’ll certainly give them (Box Hill players) the guidance to help them achieve what they want to achieve.”
Photo Credit: Jason Williams (HDCreative)