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Roosters preparing for reset under Maiorana

WEST Preston-Lakeside looks set to embark on a new era under newly-appointed senior coach Rob Maiorana.

Maiorana is no stranger to J.E Moore Park. A premiership player with the Roosters in 2003, he is also a three-time best and fairest winner in 1999, 2000 and 2004.

Speaking to NFL.org.au, Mairona said he was excited to return to his former club to lead the West Preston-Lakeside charge in 2017.

“I’m pretty proud and excited to get back there,” Maiorana said.

“It’s a good club with good people and I’m looking to bring some success back to the club.

“There’s a lot of work to do, but I’m pretty excited by the challenge.”

Maiorana returns after previously serving at the club as a playing assistant-coach, before further building his coaching CV within the VFL and AFL.

His roles have included midfield coach of the VFL state representative team in 2010, assisting Brett Ratten in the coaches box at Carlton in 2011-12, Northern Blues assistant coach from 2008-11, and Northern Blues senior assistant coach from 2012-2016.

Names to have mentored Maiorana include Leigh Matthews, Mark Williams, Denis Pagan, David Parkin, Brett Ratten, Rob Wiley, Neil Craig, Gavin Brown, Alan Richardson and Brendon Bolton.

The ever-humble Maiorana considers himself fortunate to have had such enriching coaching experiences.

“I’ve just been fortunate to work for and with some great coaches and people over a long period of time,” Maiorana said.

“Some of the greatest coaching influences with the modern game are (names) such as David Teague, Josh Fraser and Darren Harris who have been great mentors.

“I’m a real student of the game and I’ve been fortunate to be able to pick their brains and contribute to their programs.

“But at the end of the day, I have to put my style and stamp on this side.”

As the game continues to evolve, so does coaching, according to Maiorana as he looks to create a learning environment at J.E Moore Park.

“Footy’s changed a lot. I think the next generation of young people are a little bit different to the older generation – you need to treat them a little bit differently,” he said.

“There’s a lot more education involved in football these days. I’m going to try and create a learning environment that’s for sure and little bits of each of those people will come with me I think.”

Maiorana believes interpersonal skills are an integral part of coaching in the modern game, and he has set the tone early on in his new role.

“One of the first things I did when I was appointed was I tried to phone each and every one of the senior players on the list to introduce myself,” he said.

“The response has been very positive.”

The list looks to be shaping up nicely ahead of the pre-season, with star Roosters Patrick Karnezis and David Rodan likely to continue with the club in 2017.

“From all reports all those guys are excited and ready to go around again,” Maiorana said.

However, Rhett Jordan looks to be heading home, having previously played for Division 1 club Norwood in the Eastern Football League.

“I think he’s made a decision to play locally next year,” Maiorana said.

“That’s going to be a bit of a loss but we’ve got some good emerging talent coming through, which gives them some exposure.

“We’re also talking to some other players to try and bring them into the program as well.”

Division 1 once again thrived on its evenness in 2016, with West Preston-Lakeside among a number of clubs outside the top five still pushing for finals in the last weeks of the home and away season.

Maiorana can’t wait to coach in such an exciting division and is keen to present opportunities for his side’s young talent to further develop in the upcoming season.

“It’s an extremely even competition which is great,” he said.

“Most sides bar maybe one or two were vying for a finals spot with four or five rounds to go, which is good for the competition.

“There are some opportunities for the young guys, (and) we do need to develop some leadership around them and some experienced players.

“Those young guys will get their opportunity and we need them to come on now.

“But we’re fortunate to have players like Karnezis and Rodan around the place that they can learn from.

“There’s other experienced players like (Shaun) Gannon, (Nathan) Valladares and Joel McDonald just to complement those guys.”

After missing the finals for the fourth-consecutive year in 2016, West Preston-Lakeside looks placed for a “reset” under Maiorana, as he looks to not only improve on-field, but also off the field, to set the path for sustained success.

“The main objective will be to improve on last year,” he said.

“There’s no big statements of making finals and grand finals – it’s a little bit of a reset around the place to make sure that we’re improving the culture, the leadership, the standards, professionalism and we’re hoping that with that, the footy results will take care of themselves.

“That may take a little while to set in, but certainly to improve on last year and set the platform for sustainable success moving forward.”