Western United coach John Aloisi is preparing for a crunch A-League Men semi-final match but has the likes of Craig McRae and Andrew McDonald to lean on.
John Aloisi, Andrew McDonald and Craig McRae enter a Zoom call. This isn't the start of a bad joke, rather, it's three prominent Australian coaches who have joined a "coaching club" focused on sharing experiences to help each other thrive.
WESTERN UNITED - MELBOURNE VICTORY
- Western were beaten 1-0 in the first-leg of the semi-final by Victory.
- Both sides meet again on Saturday for the second-leg.
- If Victory win they will go from wooden spoon to Grand Final in a single season.
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Western United boss Aloisi, Collingwood mentor McRae and Australian men's cricket team coach McDonald regularly catch up online, along with Milwaukee Bucks assistant Mike Dunlap and England rugby union assistant and former NRL head coach Anthony Seibold.
"It's just picking each others' brain and discussing different ideas and what they deal with, how they deal with the media, which is a good one," Aloisi told reporters on Friday.
"It's all just learning and when you're coaching, you just want to keep on learning and improving and getting better and gaining from the experiences that you've had."
Aloisi catches up every week or two with his fellow coaches.
"Everyone's busy as you can imagine and everyone's going through their own situation but everyone jumps online, which is incredible," he said.
"We just enjoy it, it's great, because everyone's at different stages of their coaching as well.
"Fly's (McRae) a new head coach but he's been coaching as an assistant for 15-odd years.
"So it's interesting to see how he's coping with his first year as a head coach and it's not an easy job because he's at a big club with a lot of scrutiny and everyone's looking at every move you make."
United are 1-0 down after one leg of their semi-final clash with Melbourne Victory and will need to fight back on Saturday to reach the grand final.
Aloisi has spoken with his fellow coaches about finals and other difficulties their respective teams face.
He gave McRae advice on dealing with tight turnarounds between games, while McDonald spoke about the challenges that came with Australia's recent tour of Pakistan.
"It's all about embracing it and not looking for an excuse or reason why they can't do well and win," he said.
"Those things there, it sets you up nicely for what we're dealing in terms of there's always going to be difficulties, there's always going to be obstacles.
"But we're embracing every single moment that we've had and that we're having and enjoying the journey.
"A lot of the time it's about enjoying it because it can be a heavy burden if you don't enjoy and you let things get to you."
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