City on another level with Kisnorbo’s coaching

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Preparation is critical, and for this season, the Melbourne City side went through one of the toughest A-league preseasons to set themselves up well for the current season.

Heading into the 2020/21 A-League season, many expected the City group to be at the top half of the table due to their success last season.

However, with a change of coach and new players coming in, it was always going to be a challenge for a team with such high expectations placed on them to match those expectations.

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With a preseason that many have said was one of the most challenging, Patrick Kisnorbo set a high standard early on to get his side working early to be the fittest they possibly could be.

Speaking about the preseason, Rostyn Griffiths attributed the team’s success this season down to the preparations early on.

“A lot of football clubs have died out from running and gone into total football, but we went back to that a little bit and sort of put money in the bank in the sense of working hard,” Griffiths said.

With training sessions dedicated to the team’s fitness and specifically designed around the structure of the COVID affected season, it is no surprise to see City being one of the fittest teams in the league.

“I honestly believe we’ve trained the hardest I’ve ever trained,” Griffiths said.

The foundation set by City in the offseason also makes it a little more understandable why Kisnorbo is a coach who does not use as many substitutions per game, with his belief in his side’s fitness.

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With the early foundations of the club being established last season by Erick Mombaerts taking the side second in the league and narrowly finishing runners up to Sydney FC, it is a testament to Kisnorbo’s ability to keep this side performing at a high level.

Griffiths was full of praise for Kisnorbo’s ability to make changes to the side to improve without making wholesale changes that could have hindered the club.

“It’s not been wholesale changes from last season,” he said.

“He’s just taken it to another level; some of that has been bringing in specific players to make the team even better, and probably the main ingredient is just doing what we’ve been doing and working hard at it.”

For many players, a new coaches regime can mean many new changes that are not necessarily liked. However, for the like of Griffiths, this season has seen him move to a new position whilst also adjusting to a new team process.

“I like all that because I’m big into the process as well,” he said.

“Something I really brought into that it wasn’t something he had to sell me that hard.”

A change to the role of defensive midfield has seen Griffiths become one of the side’s most influential players, by providing the protection in front of the backline.

The changes the City team and Griffiths have had to deal with might prove to be why they lift their first A-League trophy.

For many, Kisnorbo’s coaching style and demeanour may have been off-putting. However, with a side brought into his way of thinking and his football power, it’s hard not to claim he has been one of the best coaches of the season.

Feature Image Credit: Supplied.

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Pokuah Frimpong
Obsessed football fan, current journalism student.

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