About Me

Ron's experiences have included working in several countries for professional clubs, State & National Associations.

Q&A with Ron

Analysis is becoming more important these days. Can you tell us why?

In the past fifteen years the use of computers to analyse performance has increased enormously and partly because software has become affordable to individuals as well as organisations. More and more coaches drive analysis of performance and it's expected of any professional organisation. As the saying goes, " There aren't any surprises in sport anymore". In some organisations there are live streams of games being edited and these days coaches want to view edited segments at half time or soon after the completion of the game. Video analysis provides coaches with information about their own team's performance and / or individuals within that team as well as visual information about opponents. Analysis also provides information about what is happening in the game as a whole. Evidence is created about World Cups by analysing everything that happened during the tournament. Comparative studies are then done to compare what's happened over several World Cups to see if the game is changing over time, for better or worse. There has also been an explosion in sharing information through social media so that explains a lot of the awareness and interest. Analysis has become commonplace on television because it allows pundits to ask questions and make some predictions about performance based on the available evidence. The depth of analysis and the availability of evidence or stats is increasing to the point where it is expected as part of any tv show that reports on games or has highlights of matches.

Can you explain what your role is with the Socceroos

Without going into too much detail, I do several jobs for the coaching staff. Firstly, I gather information on opponents over several recent matches. I make dvd's of the games and send them to the coaches long before we play the game. I capture the games into a computer using the Sportscode Elite system, which is a fantastic piece of software that allows me to code matches with fine detail that will include anything the coaches might want to see. While I am coding games I look for anything of significance to bring to the attention of the coaches. When we are in camp I prepare everything the coaching staff want to see of our own games and of opponents. I keep a data base of every game we have played and our opponents so we can easily go back to view anything of significance that might have happened a year ago for example. The coaches decide on what they want to show the players at our team meetings, I prepare that material and control the presentation as the head coach dictates. I also film our training sessions so the coaches can review anything from that day, which happens frequently. On match days I film our game using a wide angle view, capture into the computer and code the match "live", so if any of the coaches want to see anything straight after the game it is ready. During the match I also put a feed of the recording into a dvd burner so I have a dvd of the game to give to the Head Coach, straight after the match. I'd like to point out that after playing an evening match in say Oman the game will finish around 9pm, the team might arrive back at the hotel at 10.30pm, then the team has dinner. The players and staff are normally booked on flights from as early as 1am to many destinations, so we don't have much time to do anything post game. When we are at a tournament, life is hectic. At the Asia Cup Finals for example, I have to do everything on our team and our immediate opponents as well as scout and capture the games of teams we will most likely play in the next round of the competition, so it's full on from the time I wake up until I go to bed, often with computers and dvd recorders whirring away in the background. That's life in football generally, it's 24/7 no matter which job you do.

Can you tell us about your time at the AIS

I spent fourteen years at the AIS and loved every minute of it. I took over from Jimmy Shoulder in 1986 as the Head Coach and left to work in Asia in Jan 1996. I had some really good assistant coaches as well during that time, Gary Cole, Steve O'Connor, Mike Milovanovic and Tom Sermanni. We only had two staff to do everything in those days (not like now) but I had tremendous help from a volunteer who was a chef at the AIS, named Jamie Crocker. It was a wonderful environment to work in because the emphasis was on developing players more than trying to win a trophy. Don't misunderstand me, there was never a question about trying to win every game we played but that wasn't the main objective of the staff, winning was for the players. How we played to win the game was more important than the result. I rotated the players in the team every week to make sure every player got his fair share of game time. Players don't learn anything from sitting on the bench week after week so if a player was a sub one week he played a full game the week after. In those days we played matches all year round and as a squad would chalk up between 50-60 games. We used to take the players overseas in the school holidays to play games, not train. I'd often take a couple of extra players with us so I could field two full teams. We would organise a match for every other day we were away to get the maximum benefit of playing against Argentinian or Brazilian teams during a sixteen day trip. I made a point of developing players physically through playing football. We didn't do any conditioning work without the ball during evening training but we did do strength training early in the morning before school. That training was aimed at making the lads more resilient in a physical sense, more powerful and better prepared to withstand the demands of training every day throughout most of the year. It certainly worked because we had the lowest injury rate of all sports at the AIS and over-use injuries weren't part of the vocabulary. With the help of Doug Tumilty, the physiologist I wanted to find out more about the demands of the game and the profile of players in a physical sense , so we developed tests to measure speed, aerobic capacity etc., which we did every 6-7 weeks to monitor performance. That was our way of finding out if our game based training was effective and what sort of athletes we had playing the game. From that work we were able monitor the progress of players for the next ten years to see which players went on to succeed in professional football. We learnt a lot from that, which was later used to influence selection for scholarships and the positions that we put players in. The players came in on scholarship in January and left at the end of November, early December so it was pretty full on for most of the year. Sometimes the players went into matches feeling a bit tired but we were preparing them for the future so that didn't concern us too much. Apart from three morning training sessions and five evening sessions we also rostered the players for individual or small group sessions during the day, when it was easy to fit in with the school timetable. The players also had to schedule in massage and recovery sessions as well as individual meetings with the sports psychologist or nutritionist and do their own washing. We played on Saturday or Sunday so the players had one day each week to themselves. It was in this environment that I started to look closely at the individual and what he needed to become a better player. We used to set targets for the players so they always have an objective at training that reflected what they need to do to improve. I always had a game at the end of training for 20-30 minutes so we could just play and practice whatever the players needed to focus on, without interruption. It also gave the staff a chance to join in because we only had sixteen outfield players and we were all younger in those days. The AIS staff were expected to be innovative because that was the culture back then. We experimented with different ways of playing out from the back, for example and could "try" things out in matches to see what would happen. We always did it in training first but you could do that in the AIS environment. It obviously worked because many of the players in the "Golden Generation" came through the program during those years. I hope that gives you a decent insight into what it is was like at the AIS.
Technical Analyst
  • YearsTeam
  • 2011-2013World Cup Qualification
  • 2012Olympic Team Qualification
  • 2011Asia Cup Finals Qatar
  • 2010World Cup South Africa
  • 2008Olympic Games Beijing
  • 2006World Cup Germany
  • 2005Confederations Cup
  • 2004Olympic Games Athens
Coaching Career
  • YearsTeam
  • 2014Brisbane Roar
  • 2008Ass. Coach Olympic Team
  • 2006-2007Perth Glory
  • 2004-2006Football Federation Australia
  • 2002-2004Consulting FFA AIS JFC
  • 1999-2002 FA Malaysia
  • 1998-1999Johor FC Malaysia
  • 1995-1997Sabah FC Malaysia
  • 1982-1995Australian Institute of Sport
  • 1980-1982Qld State Coach & DOC
  • 1979IBK Keflavik Iceland
  • 1976-1977Ass. Nat. Coach
  • 1975-1978Vic State Coach & DOC

Ron in action