Coffield making a fist of new role with two key mentors
Photo by Gemma Sliz
New Sandringham captain Daniel Coffield has been “learning on the go” with two key mentors by his side for his first year with a new team and in a new role.
Coffield’s younger brother, Nick, has cemented himself in the St Kilda line up (VFL affiliate Sandringham) in his fourth AFL season, while ex-Richmond VFL teammate, Jake Batchelor, is in his first year of coaching Coffield and his teammates for the Zebras.
It’s given him two fantastic resources to lean on, both in different ways, as Coffield strives to put his best foot forward at his new club.
Coffield and his brother live together and have been vital sounding boards for each other. Daniel has overseen Nick establish himself as an intercepting half back at the Saints, and while he’s sure to have had some influence over his younger brother’s career, Daniel is certain it’s more the other way.
“Having come to a new team this year, obviously the game plans are aligned (Sandringham and St Kilda), it sort of helps when I’m trying to understand why things are done. It’s different to the things I’ve learnt in my time at Richmond,” Coffield said.
“It’s just helpful to have different perspectives on football. It helps me further understand what St Kilda and Sandringham are trying to do, so he’s helping me more than the other way around.”
However, it’s not all one-way traffic. With the two living together, Coffield believes there are benefits for Nick as well.
“It might help him having a different outside perspective from someone who’s not in the footy club. All the feedback they get is from people within, whereas I come from somewhere else, so I’ve got some different ideas and different learnings,” he said.
In terms of his coach, Coffield and Batchelor are in a unique position together. The two are charged with reimplementing and refining the culture of the Zebras after a year off — a challenging task for two men in their first year at the club.
Yet it’s one Coffield says both have engaged with strongly.
“We’re both in new roles and trying to understand and get the most out of the situation and each other. We’re in constant conversation, and especially after a year off its almost like a reset. We’re both learning on the fly, him as the senior coach and me with my first captaincy,” he said.
Perhaps, if it wasn’t for Batchelor, Coffield might not even be at the club.
The two would play together on weekends, yet wouldn’t often see much of each other out of that. However, Batchelor would constantly go out of his way in an unofficial coaching role during his playing days.
“He was always really good with giving his time and trying to explain, and the relationship is one of the reasons I came — because I knew who he was and the type of person he was. He’s a lighthearted enjoy your footy type of guy, which is what I want to do as well,” Coffield said.
Coffield and his troops will look to bounce back after the bye with a win on the board against Williamstown on Saturday.
(L-R) Anthony Seaton, Chris Carey, Daniel Coffield, Goy Lok, Luke Dalmau
Written by Seb Mottram - Sandringham Football Club Media