Coach In Focus- Lachie Shepherd

Hawks News: Coach In Focus- Lachie Shepherd

Meet Our Year 9 Coach Lachlan Shepherd

Meet one of our youngest coaches, Lachie Shepherd, just 22 years of age. Lachie joined the AMPJFC in 2018 as an assistant for the then Year 8s to Ashley Cranenburgh. 2019 has been a changing of guard and Lachie has taken over the reigns as Head Coach from Ashley. (Ashley had coached this current team from Auskick to Year 8 and coached at AMPJFC since 2006). It has been a great partnership that has evolved at AMPJFC in the “Coaching circles”. Lachie had played his junior & youth footy at AMPJFC and Ashley was his coach from Year 4-Year 9.

1.How long have you been coaching footy for at AMPJFC and other clubs?

My current coaching career started last year with the Year 8 AMPJFC team and has continued to this year’s Year 9’s as well as Aquinas College this year. 

2. Did you play footy yourself as a youngster. If so who for and what age till.

I’ve played footy since I was 7 which started as an Auskicker at the Mighty Applecross Hawks. Since then I played with the hawks until I was 16 where we had lost our numbers to form a team and transferred to the Melville hawks. This was around the same time I had been a part of East Fremantle Sharks development squads from 15-17. As of right now I continue to play football for North Fremantle Amateur Football club and have done so for the last 5 years.

3. Who was your best coach when you played? Why? 

My Best Coach is a man who goes by the name of Muzz. Muzz coached me at East Fremantle Sharks Development in U14’s, U15’s and was assistant in U16’s sides. He also coached me a couple years at North Fremantle Colts. The reason I say Muzz is my favourite coach is because he had an outside persona of tough and ruthless and when you stuffed up he would let you know about it but underneath he was one of the best at connecting with his players. He would build a strong bond between himself and others and through that he could push us to reach our potential. On top of that he had a great understanding of the game and how to adapt a game plan to suit his team. 

4. What age groups have you coached?

I have coached Year 7’s through to year 9’s.

5. What got you into coaching?

I guess I’ve always been involved with youth sport and being an assistant of sorts. With two younger brothers I was always around different sporting clubs and part of that involvement. Now with a degree in Health and Physical Education coaching helps to build on what I’ve learnt and to keep me learning.

6. What do you enjoy about coaching?

I enjoy the aspect of being able to not only pass on my knowledge of the game from my own experience but it allows me to learn and develop further from younger players. The interaction and the experience of watching players begin to uncover their own potential is a feeling you can only find in a few places.

7. What are some stand out moments as a coach?

One of the biggest things as a coach is seeing hard work payoff as well as seeing the players you’ve coached find enjoyment and success, whether that be seeing someone who couldn’t kick a footy at the start of the year kick a perfect drop punt goal or watching a team grind out a win and see them celebrate their hard work.

8. What is your focus for the team this year?

For the Year 9’s this year we are focusing on our 3 key areas;
1) Skills- from the basics of kicking and handballing to finer technical skills of running patters and positioning.

2) Intensity- Maintaining our intensity around the ground and around the ball as well building on it in each exercise at training.

3) Voice- We aim for the boys to be vocal around the ground and at training. Vocal in terms of directing each other on the ground, building an atmosphere of pressure on our opposition as well as celebrating success. All in a positive manner towards each other and opposition.

9. What is your catch phrase that you always say to your players eg words of wisdom, inspirational message etc

I don’t believe I have developed a stand-alone catch phrase however the boys may have other ideas on that. 

10. Which team do you support in the AFL?

I have always been a WCE fan but behind them as close seconds are Richmond and GWS.

What Ashley says: “Lachie is passionate about football, a modern day player and has a great deal of enthusiasm, patience and willingness to help others. His preparation to training is impressive and the boys respond very well to his instructions.  He is cool in crisis! He has provided the team with some new ideas and has really grown into the role. It is exciting to see a former player now be the Head Coach of the team.”

What Jody says: “It takes a good heart and a love for footy to coach a boys team when you are a young man and could be doing so many other things with your time.  We are so lucky to have Lachy coaching this year and I’ve got a feeling its going to be a great year.”

Back to Blogs and Events