U18 TAC Cup Squad

Story thanks to Preston Leader.

NEW Northern Knights talent manager Rhy Gieschen says culture and consistency in performance will be his two key areas of focus for the remainder of the season.

Gieschen has been appointed to the role in an interim capacity until October following the departure of Peter Kennedy earlier this month after 16 years in charge.

The new boss grew up in the northern suburbs and played for Macleod Junior Football Club and Ivanhoe Grammar before spending the past six years with AFL Victoria, including the last four in the talent department working in operations for the VFL and TAC Cup competitions.

“I’ve got a very good understanding of the TAC Cup system, the philosophies and why we do certain things,” Gieschen said.

“At head office I’ve been really strong on ensuring regions develop players into the best players they can be, whether that’s AFL, VFL or community football.

“We want players to come out of our program and have a really big impact on football. If it’s not AFL, then Victorian football moving forward.”

The Knights have struggled on field this year, winning just one of their first seven games.

Gieschen said while there were some reasons behind that — including the limited availability of 17 squad members who play football in the private school system — coach Andrew Shakespeare and the club were working hard to ensure performances improved.

“We’ve got a squad of 53 and we expect every player on that squad to bring a level of competitiveness to our team,” Gieschen said.

“There are going to be times when our depth is challenged with the number of private school boys that we have missing on a regular basis and some injuries, but that’s not uncommon for teams in the metro area.

“So one of our big challenges is finding consistency of effort and performance and these players understanding that when they do move on to senior footballers there are going to be challenges they do need to face.”

The TAC Cup observed a bye at the weekend.

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