Coach of the Month: Anthony Barbieri

Winning Edge Presentations Coach of the Month, Rounds 5-8 – Anthony Barbieri (Avondale Heights)

When Anthony Barbieri took the reins at Avondale Heights in 2012, it was his first coaching gig.

The club was tipped to be relegated from the old State 3 N/W.

Today, they sit atop of the NPL 1, with seven wins from eight games. They haven’t lost since Round 2.

They’ve also scored the most goals and conceded the least. Not a bad record for a bloke who’s only spent three years as a coach.

FFV’s Alen Delic called Anthony Barbieri on Tuesday afternoon to tell him that he’d been named the Winning Edge Presentations Coach of the Month and to find out about his time in the NPL.

AD: How does it feel to be named the coach of the month for Rounds 5-8?

AB: It’s a bit of a surprise to be quite honest. But I’m really proud to have received it.

Six wins in a row now Anthony, what’s the secret?

There’s no real secret. It just comes down to hard work.

The boys have been doing really well on the track. We try to replicate our football philosophy at training and bring it to game day. And all credit to them.

They work really hard during training; they’re enthusiastic and hungry to do well. When you have that culture and that environment, it makes my job a lot easier.

We’ve strung a few good results together in the last six weeks and I guess confidence is an important part of our game. The more success we have, the more games you win continuously.

With that being said, when they do eventually lose, are their heads going to drop?

They won’t, and we proved it early on in the season. Round 2, we had a tough game against Sunshine George Cross, and perhaps on the balance of play, we probably deserved to get more out of it.

We lost, but we bounced back well against Brunswick with a big win. I’m quietly confident with the group that when they do lose, it won’t take much to get back to our winning ways.

I’m going be honest with you, I’ve done a Google search and I couldn’t find much about you. Can you tell me a bit about your coaching history?

This is only my third year as a senior coach, and all three years have been with Avondale Heights.

My first year was in 2012 in State 3, and we won the league. Last year we finished second, and we won the playoffs and we ended up in the old first division, and now NPL 1.

Here I am again with the same club and continuing on with what we’ve been building and creating for the last three years.

How would you describe the football you try and play to someone who has never seen Avondale Heights in the flesh?

We have a very simple sort of game plan.

We stick to doing what we know we can do well: we try and play the ball around, move the ball quickly and create opportunities.

It’s a high tempo game and we aim to entertain as much as we can.

Not many people gave your team a chance at the start of the season, now you’re top. Was it easier without having the weight of expectation on you?

There are no expectations on our shoulders.

We’ve been in the same position three years in a row now.

When I took over, we were tipped to get relegated. The next season, we were being tipped to finish in the lower half, and now again, we were tipped for the bottom half.

It’s not an unfamiliar ground, and that’s the way we like it. We don’t look too far forward, the boys are good, diligent and they work hard. They take it one week at a time.

The Coach of the Month is awarded across NPL and NPL 1 and is decided by FFV.


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