AFL 2021: Incoming Carlton coach Michael Voss committed to ‘shifting the narrative’
Incoming Carlton coach Michael Voss says he is committed to “shifting the narrative” around the embattled club, but acknowledges it will take “everyone stepping up” to turn the tide.
After weeks of uncertainty, Carlton confirmed on Thursday that Voss would take the reins from sacked coach David Teague in 2022.
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Voss said it was a “great honour” to be appointed coach and that instilling change at Princes Park started with investing in the people at the club.
“We’ve got to put an environment around this group that supports them to be able to go out there with real clarity and be able to execute,” he said.
“There’s a really exciting opportunity for the players. It’ll be somewhat uncomfortable because the environment is going to look totally different. New coach for one, new assistant coaches, new game plan.
“We’ll be trying to integrate our whole football club and connect our whole football club, which is a real priority for us.
“I hope there are some real challenges and I hope the club and also the players are really stretched over this next period of time so we can find what that next level looks like.
“It starts with the people. The most important thing for us now is to get the right people in place. We want to make sure we get the best group around these guys to be able to get where we need to go.”
A self-described Blues tragic during his youth, Voss said he would not shy away from the club’s proud history, nor from the expectations of its members, fans and stakeholders.
“I won’t step away from embracing expectations. I understand that we’ve got a really rich history as the Carlton Football Club, we’ve had some really great success as a football club,” he said.
“Hopefully we can also shift the narrative a little and how we actually play for a greater purpose, which becomes even bigger than the result itself.”
Voss said one word came to mind when he thought of Carlton.
“The one word that comes to mind about Carlton is it’s extremely powerful,” he said.
“We want to play a powerful brand but we also want to have our members and supporters feel like they want to be part of that journey.”
Voss last coached at senior level with the Lions — the club with whom he won three premierships as a player.
Brisbane did not find the same success during Voss’ tenure in charge, and he said he hoped to prove his coaching credentials in his second top job.
“I am essentially a competitor,” he said.
“I guess ratifying that as a player is one thing because it’s very easy to be able to get there and make a difference by the way that you play, but you do that very differently as a coach.
“For me, I guess as a competitor, I’m always trying to get the best version of myself. We’re not here to just be part of a group, we’re here to be the best.”
Voss was tight-lipped on whether he would try to lure any players to Carlton from Port Adelaide, the club that had employed him as an assistant coach from 2015 until the end of the 2021 season.
He said he rated Carlton’s current list “very highly” and that he had already made contact with players via text and through Zoom.
Voss said he looked forward to fostering a culture of high performance at the Blues, who haven’t played finals footy since 2013.
“The key things that we have to bring into the club are consistency, reliability and durability. They’re just tried and true values for high performance,” he said.
“There’s no doubt that there’s been a genuine top end here, but our ability to be able to replicate it week on week has proven a little challenging at times.
“To do that, we’re going to have to go to work on that, we’re going to have to go to work on who we are as teammates and how we’re able to back up day after day and bring the intensity we need to, so we can sustain the performances and sustain the level to get where we need to go.”
The mass clean-out at Carlton continued earlier in the week, with the last member of Teague’s coaching panel, Cameron Bruce, departing the club.
Carlton will begin the process of hiring assistant coaches “in the next week”, ushering in a new era under Voss and incoming CEO Brian Cook.
Originally published as AFL 2021: Incoming Carlton coach Michael Voss committed to ‘shifting the narrative’
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