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Myers' added value

Simon Conway  May 18, 2017 3:49 PM

David Myers returned to the side against Fremantle and was a key player in the win over Geelong.

David Myers returned to the side against Fremantle and was a key player in the win over Geelong.

Rob Harding has spent just a few months working alongside David Myers but it hasn’t taken long for the Game Intelligence and Opposition Strategy Coach to appreciate the midfielder’s value.

Myers has played two matches this season and was a key figure in the Bombers win over Geelong, delivering the ball inside 50 seven times. 

Harding’s role centres on developing the game plan and studying the opposition.

He told Bomber Radio Myers’ ‘footy brain’ makes him a valuable player to have in the team.

“I’ve heard David Myers speak in team meetings and explain things as well or better than coaches can explain them,” Harding said.

“We’ve got some really good experience with James Kelly, Brendon Goddard, Jobe Watson and a guy like David Myers is outstanding – his footy brain is brilliant.

“When you get late in games you really need smart players that understand the circumstances.

“Footy IQ is the hardest one to teach because a lot of it comes with experience and good leaders instructing younger players.

“It’s crucial you have guys like that in each part of the ground as well … to help set-up and coordinate that area and then ultimately bring it all together as a team.” 

Harding has been working in the AFL for the last decade and has spent time at North Melbourne, Geelong and most recently Adelaide.

He joined the Bombers last October and spent the pre-season implementing the Dons game plan with a playing group featuring ten returning players, seven draftees and two recruits from other clubs.

“The main thing is getting everyone on the same page,” Harding said.

“The kids that come in out of the under 18 system come from a variety of different backgrounds and methods of coaching.

"There is new terminology, there is new ways of being instructed … for the young guys it’s about simplifying it and getting the basics right and then you start to add the layers to it.

“The most important thing is the clarity of the messaging, you don’t want players being too over-structured.

“At the end of the day the reason these guys get on a list is because they’re naturally talented footballers.

“The stage we’re at once we get to AFL level is refining and adding layers to their talent and to help them produce it consistently.”