CARLTON interim AFL coach David Teague wants the Blues to cast off their shackles, suggesting his philosophy will be as much about the art of coaching as the science.
Teague will lead the Blues for the first time on Saturday when they host Brisbane at Marvel Stadium, having taken over after Brendon Bolton was sacked earlier in the week.
Ten losses from their first 11 games when they were expected to improve had added a sense of inevitability to Bolton’s axing, and the young Blues had appeared to be tightly wound and second-guessing themselves on the field.
The highly-regarded Teague, who learned his craft as an assistant at West Coast, St Kilda, Adelaide and then the Blues, has declared his first priority will be helping his players to believe in themselves and play on instinct.
“I want them to be the best players they are, not try and be someone else. How I’ve got the best out of people is to allow them to express themselves on the football field,” Teague said on Friday.
“You can turn football into a real science; I think it’s a bit of an art as well in terms of allowing them to be themselves.
“I’ll use Eddie Betts as an example. I played with him here and then I tried to coach him when I went to Adelaide and I learnt very quickly that actually letting him be and letting him play, he taught me more than I was ever going to teach him about how to do it.
“That’s an experience that I draw upon.”
One of Teague’s first moves was to bring Dale Thomas back into the fold after he was sent to the VFL for drinking at a function in breach of team rules.
The veteran was named in the Blues’ 22 along with Kade Simpson, Mitch McGovern and Lochie O’Brien.
Teague hoped the fresh start for the club would benefit his players and said he wouldn’t hesitate to implement a more attacking game plan.
“I want to be aggressive. I want to be aggressive in offence, aggressive in defence and aggressive in the contests,” Teague said.
“We need to bring effort, and if we bring effort and we bring the way they applied themselves (at training) yesterday, I’m pretty excited about the opportunity tomorrow.”
© AAP 2019