UHS-VU/Flemington buy-in to Butera’s philosophies

Posted on - Latest News, Featured, Under 19s, UHS-VU

By Nick Armistead

UHS-VU/Flemington bought into the culture of a new regime and claimed the ultimate reward by taking out the 2015 VAFA Colts premiership, according to coach Marcus Butera.

Accepting his award for Junior Coach of the Year at Monday night’s Presentation Dinner, Butera praised the work ethic of the young group and thanked them specifically for the effort they showcased on the back of a number of lean seasons.

“Last year was my first year of coaching and from my understanding they’d won six games out of 67,” Butera said in his acceptance speech at the Melbourne Cricket Ground.

“We worked hard and the players really, really put in so I’ve got to certainly, absolutely acknowledge them.”

Butera changed the culture of the club in part due to the implementation of a game plan based around boxing and basketball.

A former amateur boxer himself, Butera’s style is based around aggression in defence and conservatism in attack.

Speaking with JUFL.com earlier this year, Butera said he wanted to trap teams into a corner by “taking it wide and killing the ball”.

Statistically, it worked.

Ranked second-last in the 2014 home and away season for both points for (699) and against (1261), UHS shone under Butera’s new methodology, ranking second for points for (1258) and first for points against (624) in this year’s premiership-winning campaign.

His chargers’ effectiveness at both ends of the ground helped them win on nine more occasions than last season and from three less matches.

Despite a semi-final loss to Ivanhoe in the first week of finals, Butera’s game plan held strong in the ensuing two matches. UHS claimed an 81-point preliminary final win against La Trobe University in the preliminary final before reversing the semi-final result against the Hoes in the grand final, all the while allowing just seven goals against in those two matches.

Furthermore, while conceding just the three and four majors respectively, UHS were able to able to gain control of each match from the outset and use their conservative approach in attack to slot 30 goals of their own in that time.

With pre-season kicking off for most VAFA clubs, it will be exciting to watch the further development of the UHS-VU/Flemington list under the guidance of this year’s Junior Coach of the Year.

Watch Butera’s acceptance speech below: