Posted in Featured News , Front Page News , People of the SMJFL

The South Metro Junior Football League landed a major recruiting coup just prior to Christmas with the appointment of David “Sherro” Sheridan as the league’s Director of Coaching (Interleague).

Over the years, Sheridan has compiled an impressive football CV. He is currently a Level 2 Accredited AFL coach and regularly presents at league coach development seminars and AFL Victoria coaching courses.

Prior to his appointment at the SMJFL, Sheridan was the Coaching Director at the Hawthorn Citizens Football Club in the Yarra Junior Football League (YJFL) for five years and served as a board member of the Southern Football Netball League (SFNL). He has also previously coached at Mentone Grammar.

Before finding his passion for coaching, Sheridan played football at a high level during the 80’s and 90’s, both in the South Australian Football Association (SAFA) in Adelaide and with then-VFA (Victorian Football Association, the precursor to the current VFL) club Prahran.

In 2011, Sheridan was presented with an AFL Victoria Outstanding Contribution to Football Award – a very prestigious honour.

An expert in game plan development, Sheridan will no doubt be a wonderful asset to the League and its Interleague program.

With training for the Interleague squads commencing last week, SMJFL Media Coordinator Will Hunter caught up with Sherro to get his thoughts on the role and the 2016 South Metro Stars representative teams.


WILL HUNTER: What are your responsibilities as the Director of Coaching?

DAVID SHERIDAN: To create a program that offers talented juniors an excellent footy experience. What that means is choosing talented coaches, or experienced and developing coaches, with the right philosophy to ensure the kids enjoy their football, learn and embrace football as their chosen path.


What made you want to take up the position with us?

I’ve been a coach director now for five years. I was involved (in Interleague) as a coach last year. Tim Marshall moved on from the program and I was approached by the league and I enjoy the Interleague concept and thought I had something to offer in terms of selecting good coaches and developing the program, like I said before, that creates a good football experience.


Let’s talk Interleague. You must be pretty excited to be a part of it again this year?

Oh, absolutely. I mean, what I love is when the (Under) 13s come in to the program they’re incredibly enthusiastic, (Under) 14s and 15s you can see them develop year on year. We’ve now got a cooperative arrangement with the Dragons where there’s a seamless pathway from Interleague to the Sandringham Dragons and Oakleigh Chargers and I think that’s all good for football. I’m excited about it ‘coz I just love to see both kids and coaches develop.


Training for the Interleague teams began last week. What were your initial thoughts on the squads?

Enthusiastic is what I’d say. They’ve embraced their first training. Some of them hadn’t done a lot of work over the summer, we kicked off the rust, but this week the skills have really picked up, the nervousness is gone and they are really starting to embrace the training. So yeah, the level of training has really picked up, assisted by and facilitated by a great group of coaches with the right philosophy.


You were involved in the Interleague set up last as a member of the Under 15s coaching panel. Although the results didn’t go your way, how was that campaign from a player development perspective?

When you say the results didn’t go our way, I think all I’m after is to field a competitive squad and our competitors are looking to do the same. I think the team that I coached, and most of the teams involved, were competitive.

My philosophy is to create a game plan and coach to a game plan and so in some cases, at some clubs, there was limited exposure to that from kids. A large part of their development was learning how to be predictable to each other and to follow a game plan. I think that was really positive and I think that a few of them did some things on the football field they’ve never done before and played in a style they’ve never played before and that is always good for their development. Also, by its nature, Interleague forces kids to play out of their comfort zone because you can’t have 40 midfielders. So they developed defensive and attacking skills over and above their natural predilection to go get the footy.


That must give them a lot of knowledge to take back to their own clubs?

We’d hope so, and certainly it’s what I encourage coaches at their own clubs to do. I’ve learnt along the journey that it’s really good to give kids experience in different positions. Particularly down back to teach them the defensive side of the game and at Interleague nights I’ve suggested that they go back to their (club) coaches and ask to play back to get accountable.


What can we expect from the SMJFL rep sides this year?

You can expect great camaraderie. You can expect 100% effort. You can expect that they’ll represent the SMJFL jumper with pride and they will give it their all. And you can expect the group of kids to enjoy their footy and walk away having made some new friends and developed some new skills.

David Sheridan takes charge of SMJFL Interleague training.

David Sheridan takes charge of SMJFL Interleague training.