Roos to coach Sydney Swans Academy - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Roos to coach Sydney Swans Academy

By Daniel Brettig 18/08/2010 03:57:58 PM Comments (0)

Paul Roos has been the most pivotal figure in the Swans' history in Sydney, so it is apt that he will now play an equally vital role in their AFL future.

In an almighty coup for the club, Roos has been charged with mentoring the emerging generations of players as the inaugural full-time head coach of the Swans Academy.

Roos' decision to stay in Sydney and in football beyond the end of his tenure as senior coach should mean the Swans have a steady hand at the developmental tiller for years to come, and that rival clubs will only be able to dream of the coaching talent they are missing.

The academy will allow the Swans to hand-pick the best AFL talent from around NSW from as young as nine, and guide them in the sort of development pathway only previously enjoyed by those growing up in the traditional Australian Rules states.

Roos said his first preference had always been to stay in Sydney after stepping aside from the top job with the Swans' AFL team at the end of the 2010 season.

"(Moving overseas) was never an option, I was always going to stay here," Roos said on Wednesday.

"My boys are 14 and 16 and they've got to finish school so I really want to stay in Sydney as well.

"I've always wanted to stay with the club in some capacity, so I suppose in a way the academy has come at a perfect time for me, the role bobbed up and I'm looking forward to it.

"It is really significant, there's no doubt about it, if you look at the players who have come from this area before who have gone to other clubs - if we can get those players earlier, it is quite scary how many really good players we can have."

Having castigated the AFL in the past for not providing adequate support to the Swans in a vast but largely hostile marketplace, Roos and club officials were visibly warm towards league chief executive Andrew Demetriou, who said there were similar plans afoot for an AFL academy in Queensland.

"We've recognised that NSW and Queensland are particularly different markets, we're not producing as much football talent as we'd like," said Demetriou.

"So we did need to think a bit laterally, and we have introduced rules over the past few years that have created a bit of flexibility."

Roos will hand over the reins of the AFL team to long-time assistant John Longmire at the end of the current season, having led the club to their drought-breaking 2005 premiership.

As one of the most highly-respected coaches in the competition, Roos would have been in high demand at other clubs had he chosen to look for another senior position elsewhere.

"There's no doubt he would be on anyone's coaching list if a club had a position available for senior coach - he could demand any price he wanted, probably significantly higher than he'd get for this job," said Demetriou.

"So it is a credit to Paul that he wants to stay in Sydney, help develop the game, develop the Swans, and football will be the great beneficiary of it."

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