Worrying parallel for Voss - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Worrying parallel for Voss

Darren Cartwright 10/05/2011 02:00:52 PM Comments (0)

Embattled Brisbane coach Michael Voss appears to be walking in the same dark shadow that former Collingwood coach Tony Shaw once paced when he succeeded premiership coach and AFL legend Leigh Matthews.

The parallel between Voss's now besieged coaching career and Shaw's failed attempt more than a decade ago at the Magpies are strikingly similar and it's not just the results.

Both are premiership skippers and club legends.

They were both logical choices to replace Matthews who brought ultimate success to success-starved clubs but departed leaving only crumbs on the playing table.

Not helping matters, was at the time they respectively took over from Matthews - Shaw in 1996 and Voss in 2009 - both the Magpies and the Lions were in crisis.

Their financial situations were of major concern. The Lions have had recorded losses totalling more than $5 million in the past three years.

Matthews concedes he left behind playing lists which were run down and needing attention.

Shaw said one of the first things he did at Collingwood was plead for a handout to improve their training facilities.

"We had to go to a coterie group to get $150,000 to fix our gym and all we did was paint," Shaw told AAP.

"Our facilities and our political background at the stage were shocking."

Even though Shaw did not steer the Magpies into the finals, he came within half a match of September action in 1997 - his second year, which was enough to secure him another two seasons as a coach.

Voss, in his first year, took the Lions to the finals but his coaching career has been in free fall since.

The Lions have only won three of their past 24 matches and the 0-6 start to 2010 is their worst opening to a season.

Voss's contract will expire in four months, and while he wants to stay on and develop the younger players, the Lions' board must decide whether to gamble on their club legend or axe him.

If the Lions put their faith in Voss then it must be for a minimum of two seasons, says Shaw.

"If they understand that (they need time to develop their younger players) and know they can't fix it quick, they might be happy with just Vossy staying there," Shaw said.

"If you go with him, go with him for two years, not one - that's just crap, that's just holding the dam wall up.

"If they don't there's coaches out there like Mick Malthouse."

If there is a distinguishing factor between Shaw's and Voss's coaching careers, it's their apprenticeships.

Shaw spent a season under Matthews, although in hindsight he wished he'd spent another year or two as an understudy before being appointed and not necessarily at Collingwood.

Voss had no formal assistant senior coaching role.

"People make the parallels between us, but I had a year under Leigh as an assistant coach," Shaw said.

"You can always talk about playing lists and what you had and Leigh always said he never left the list in good condition.

"You can make all the excuses you want, but if you don't have success you move on, that's the way I see it."

It would be odd if the Lions ditched Voss and secured Malthouse as he replaced Shaw in 2000 and then took the Magpies to three grand finals, including the 2010 premiership.

The Lions could do worse than wish for history to repeat itself again.

Brought to you by AAP AAP © 2021 AAP

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