NEW Lindisfarne coach Trey Westbury says one of his biggest challenges will be keeping some of his senior players motivated following an undefeated premiership season.
Westbury, 26, will lead the Two Blues’ premiership defence following a late change of heart from club champion Michael Cassidy who chose to hang up the boots following another premiership as the Two-Blues playing coach.
The changing of the guard will see Westbury lead Lindisfarne alongside assistant coaches in 2022 William Leitch Medalist Josh Green and 2022 reserves coach Kaine Menzie.
While the first-time senior coach said his key focus would be creating an enjoyable environment for his players, he acknowledged that often went hand-in-hand with success and that keeping his group motivated following a premiership was going to be a challenge.
“To be honest we are using that [going back-to-back] to dangle the carrot in front of the senior blokes that may have lost some motivation,” Westbury said.
“That was my first senior premiership and you can definitely see the drop in some of the senior boys motivation and so that’s the carrot for them this year is trying to go back-to-back.
“Thankfully we have a bunch of younger boys that weren’t part of that last year and so they are motivated already and that’s a big thing,” he said.
Westbury said he was loving his brief time in charge of the Two Blues and revealed it would be a new-look Lindisfarne this season with more than a third of last season’s premiership side expected to be missing in 2023.
“I’d say we’ve lost roughly eight players from our Grand Final side due to retiring or having time off or for travel,” he said.
“So there’ll definitely be some changes with some younger blokes from the [under] 19s and reserves and other personnel we’ve picked up.”
Westbury reiterated that while he was there to win, he would always have a strong focus on making Anzac Park a place players enjoyed being.
“As much as we want to win and go back-to-back, the first thing for me is trying to instil a fun and enjoyable culture,” he said.
“I’m not trying to focus too much on saying we must win and we must go back-to-back, my first focus is on wanting guys to be here and having fun and making it a place guys want to come.”
Westbury said regaining last season’s mindset of being ‘the hunter’ would be another focus despite knowing they’d likely have a target on their back following their 2022 success.
Lindisfarne will begin its premiership defence against the Lions at Huonville Oval on Good Friday.