As the PFNL's 2022 season approaches, Rhys Bloxsidge from the Waroona Demons is getting ready for the first league game of the season - something he has done many times before, but this time, he's the coach.
Bloxsidge has played 240 league games for Waroona, and at 37, he said he was ready to get involved in a different way.
"I figured I was getting a bit too old to keep playing so to keep involved with the club I put my hand up to coach," he laughed.
"It's a lot different and a lot more stressful being in charge of about 40-50 senior players. As a player I'd just rock up to do my hour-and-a-half training and go home. Now it's things like planning training and spending the next few hours thinking about it."
He said that with a group of senior players there to help him out, it had been a slightly easier transition, one that he was now able to enjoy.
"They've been a big help. The first couple of sessions we sort of eased our way into it, and as I got used to coaching I was able to start enjoying it more."
I want them to come off the ground feeling like they've given it their best shot rather than having doubts or regrets.
Losing three or four players from last year's side who have been replaced by new players meant a slight change for the Demons, but Bloxsidge said the team was "looking strong".
"Looking at our round one side who will compete against Halls Head this weekend - we have built a really strong, competitive side.
"The first round will be a bit of a transition for Waroona - it's not the typical Waroona way, it's a new type of football for us."
Bloxsidge said the team had been working hard during training to perfect their new strategies and play style, and that they were ready to head into the season with a bang.
"You hear a lot about what other teams are doing - but all you can do is focus on your team and your game.
"My season goal is obviously to win games, but I also want our playing group to be happy and enjoying footy and looking forward to playing each week.
"I want them to come off the ground feeling like they've given it their best shot rather than having doubts or regrets."
Waroona will battle it out against Halls Head on April 23 at Merlin Street Reserve.
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