Gerhard Janssen has completed his first season as Technical Director of Football at UWANFC, and is eager to build on the foundations created this season. “The enthusiasm in the club this season was fantastic,” he admitted. “We have made a good start on which we can build up during the next 2-4 years, because this is the timeframe which you need in order to transfer a football philosophy into a club.”
Gerhard Janssen will continue with his role into the 2017 season, but more important to him was the decision to keep Head Coach Michael Janssen at the club until 2018. “Signing Michael (Janssen) for future seasons is extremely important,” Gerhard explained. “When I first had discussions with Tony Stewart (President) last year it was crucial that he saw our long term project. We want to implement from U6’s right through to U18’s and thus into the senior team a clear footballing philosophy, with education and proper development. This is something that takes time and then it is no coincidence when you start seeing the improvement.”
Looking at the State League sides, UWANFC had their best finish to a State League Division 1 season in their short history, finishing equal 5th with a record point tally of 32. Gerhard Janssen believes this development will continue across all three State League sides next season, “We are in the beginning of the development, but already you can see many of the players starting to get significantly better,” he stated. “You can point the finger to excellent coaching. Michael led this by his training and game philosophy but Clive (Stopper), Chris (Beech) and Viny (Kapur) all 100% identified themselves with Michael’s way and were able to turn it into success. We will continue this way into next season, many of these young players don’t know how good they can become if they continue to work hard and learn.”'
An important component of Gerhard Janssen’s position is to manage the junior coaches and coordinate the proceedings of junior football, an aspect of the club which he believes is in good stead. “The juniors made our club and all officials proud,” he expressed. “The development of every single player is paramount to the club, and they showed how important they’ll be to the club for years to come by performing very well this season.” Janssen also expressed how the club’s junior environment is beginning to attract new players, “It is significant that we attracted already five new players for next year’s U14’s who were all top performers in NPL, this can only be accredited to our convincing training and development model which is simply superior to most of the reality in competing clubs.”
Junior NPL is a goal which the club has been aiming for ever since its inception, and Janssen believes UWANFC are on the right path. “NPL for our juniors is a target, that is not in question,” he admitted. “Football West received our application so we will see, but regardless of the outcome you will see us intensify our development. We focus on player development; this is more important than where the team may play. We will continue to try to play in the highest league possible but not by giving up focussing on the development of every single player.”
Perhaps most important to Janssen is the transition of youth into seniors within UWANFC, a thing which he hopes can become significant to UWANFC in future years. “We started this last year with players like Mordecai (Appiah) and Lachlan (Thomas), who become starting 11 players. Others such as Zack (Morgan) and Jack (Valentine) are on the radar. Viny will teach them how to make the next step and Michael and I will help them understand what it means to play senior football for UWANFC.” Janssen also signified that this integration will be evident from juniors to seniors, with the top junior players being invited to train alongside Viny Kapur and the 18s. “The 15’s and 16’s will train early in the year with Viny, this will give a good overview of the potential and help these players to use their potential.”