It is the three-point plan Macleay Valley Rangers hope will not only help them to the pointy end of the competition in 2021, but one that will keep them there.
Improve discipline, become more committed and respect everyone.
“If you get those in the team, the team will go well; you mightn’t win every game but you will enjoy your football more,” coach Simon Tamblyn said.
All three traits have been missing at various stages over the years and the coach is perhaps in the best position to help fix it.
“I’ve been around the traps for a fair while,” he said.
“I’m a life member of the club and have previously been refereeing the local competition for five to 10 years.”
Tamblyn knows respect is a two-way street with opponents, but also feels it must flow down to a better relationship with on-field officials.
“Whether he’s right or wrong, there needs to be respect for the referee,” he said.
“We’re not playing for sheep stations and even though we’re calling ourselves Premier League, we’re really a local league and no one here is going to play for the Olyroos.
“And then if you have respect for other players on other teams, they will put in as much effort to return the favour.”
When a coach tries to instil new structures into his team, he needs the players to buy into it. The best way for that to happen is to finish each fixture with 11 on the park.
Tamblyn admits that has been an issue at the club in previous seasons, but it’s one he is focused on fixing.
“We had someone sent off in the last two trial games and the FFA Cup and they’ve been told they’re on their last legs because we can’t afford to play games with men short,” he said.
“Football games are hard enough to win as it is.”
Rangers posed plenty of problems for all opponents in last season’s CPL and Tamblyn is hopeful of a repeat in 2021 despite the loss of Evan Clarke to cross-town rivals Kempsey Saints.
“We have the players there to be a top four side,” he said.
“Whether you compete with the Coffs Harbour sides who are very quick and move the ball well … that’s a different story.”