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Tippett takes on Academy role

Swans Media - Tanya Paolucci  March 13, 2013 10:22 AM

SwansTV: Tippett on his Academy role Swans new recruit Kurt Tippett is set to join the Sydney Swans QBE Academy to try his hand at coaching
Kurt Tippett helping out at QBE Sydney Swans Academy training last week

Kurt Tippett helping out at QBE Sydney Swans Academy training last week

The QBE Sydney Swans Academy coaching stocks have been bolstered with the addition of Kurt Tippett to the program for the 2013 season.

The 202cm forward, who was recruited to the Swans this year, will take on a role as a specialist skills coach with the under-16 and under-18 squads and will work with a select group of players for skill and position-specific training.

Speaking to SwansTV ahead of last week’s Academy training session, Tippett said he felt a coaching role at the Academy was a perfect fit for him this season.

“The Sydney Swans Academy has provided me with a great opportunity to come down and help out the kids and also learn a few new skills myself,” he said.

“Being able to help the kids out, particularly the taller boys really interested me and hopefully I can pass on some knowledge to them.

“I’ve also got a big break at the start of the season before I can play, so it provides a great opportunity to keep my head in the game and keep really sharp.

“If I can teach other people the skills then hopefully I am reinforcing them to myself as well.”

Tippett, who was a talented junior basketballer, was a late starter to AFL and relied on the support of development coaches to get him up to speed with the game.

The tall forward said he hoped he could bring the same level of knowledge and support that he received as a junior to the Swans Academy athletes this year.

“Coming into the game late myself, I had to learn things and pick up different things from watching different people, and I was fortunate enough through my time to have a lot of great coaches, so to be able to give back and help the kids and watch them grow is fantastic,” he said.

“I had to pick up everything from scratch and was lucky enough to have had some great coaches to help and mentor me, so if I can help out some of these kids then that’s just great.”

Aside from junior clinic appearances, the QBE Sydney Swans Academy position will be Tippett’s first coaching role, and the 25-year-old said he is looking forward to the challenge.

“I guess I’m still developing my skills as a coach, so to be able to develop that and help the taller guys out with their marking and ruck work is probably where I’ll focus my energies,” he said.

“There are some very talented kids and they’ve got a great opportunity as part of the Swans Academy to grow and develop their skills and hopefully we’ll see a couple of them out playing for the Swans very soon.”

Swans Academy Talent ID & Operations Manager Chris Smith said Tippett has shown he has what it takes to make a difference to the Academy program.

“Kurt’s first session with the Academy was working with our key position players on their leading patterns and understanding space and body positioning,” he said.

“We found that he communicates really well and has already shown an ability to implement drills that draw on his AFL experience as a key forward and a ruckman.”

Smith said Tippett’s commitment to the Academy was another positive for the program, which has already secured the services of two former AFL stars.

“It’s an exciting time at the Swans Academy – we already have recently retired AFL players Amon Buchanan and Mark McVeigh joining our coaching ranks, and to have Kurt on board as well, we couldn’t be happier,” he said.

“The Academy players are extremely lucky to have someone of Kurt’s calibre who is willing to pass on his knowledge and take a genuine interest in their development.”