Coach Sam Poutakidis on 2018 Season

Journalist Stefan Tsamis sits down and speaks with newly appointed Richmond SC 1953 Coach Sam Poutakidis about the upcoming State League 1 season, his ambitions at Richmond and what football philosophy he will be looking to implement in his side.
ST: What are you hoping to achieve as Richmond SC head coach?
SP: Whatever I undertake in life, I aim for success. It’s the same with Coaching and with the new challenge of Head Coach of Richmond SC. The club has a rich and powerful history in Victorian Football and I aim to be a part of returning the club to it’s lofty heights.
ST: Have you already identified which players you want to keep from the remaining squad and have you already spoken with the club on the new faces that you want to bring to your side for next season?
SP: I have been working very closely and have put in countless hours with the Head of Football to identify the players required that will help us win a championship in 2018. We have reviewed the list of existing players, the players that expressed interest to play for Richmond SC, and the players that have been referred to us, and ran our first trial session last week. From that we will review the video footage of the trial and invite the required players to pre-season training in January.
ST: Chris May an experienced NPL Victoria Goalkeeper is your first signing of the transfer window, what do you believe Chris will bring to your side?
SP: Chris will bring a high level of assurance and confidence to the playing group. His vast experience and high level of ability will ensure we have a solid foundation to build our playing style on. All good structures are built with a strong base and that is never more evident than with a football team, so the Club and I cannot be happier to have secured the services of such an impressive Goalkeeper.
ST: Which other teams in State League 1 do you believe will be very tough to get results against next season?
SP: I feel Beaumaris SC is currently best placed to win the title as they have retained most of their 2017 State League 2 promotion squad, which is crucial as the players have now have had 12 months of playing in a successful system under impressive Head Coach Marcus Stergiopoulos. In addition, they have added some impressive signings which will add quality to an already powerful squad.
ST: Is the ambition at Richmond to gain automatic promotion to NPL 2 come 2019?
SP: The main reason I accepted the role is because the new committee is extremely ambitious and have a vision to return the club to the NPL in 2 years. So the clear goal is to achieve back to back promotions which suits my ambitions as I am someone who wants to win a title with each team I Coach.
ST: What kind of football philosophy are you hoping to implement at Richmond SC?
SP: Like all Coaches, I have my philosophy which I will implement at Richmond SC. It has been successful in the past and I am confident it will lead us to success in 2018 and beyond.
ST: As a coach, some of the most important things for coaches to drive in their team is structure and organization, do you believe these two things could be vital for Richmond if they are to be successful?
SP: There are many elements and functions in a football club that need to work well in order to achieve success. Having a well organised and structured team is just 2 of them, and my teams are always strong in these areas.
ST: Greatest achievement as a coach?
SP: I have been very lucky to have achieved a high level of success in my Coaching Career to date. Winning the inaugural NPLV U20’s Championship in 2014 with Oakleigh Cannons FC and gaining promotion with Beaumaris SC to State League 1 in 2017 on a modest budget have been the greatest so far.
ST: Being a former player and now a coach, can you explain what are the major differences from playing and now coaching?
SP: They are worlds apart and this fact cannot be underestimated in my opinion. There are many differences but ultimately the Coach is responsible for the culture, discipline and results for the team.
ST: Give us your reason to why you decided to become a coach after your playing days and what was your biggest motivation throughout that process?
SP: During my playing days, I was always interested in the tactical side of the game and had my view on how teams should play and what style of football would lead to success. While I was still playing, I volunteered as a Specialist Coach for Ashburton Women’s SC in the WVPL because I enjoyed the seeing the development and subsequent success the players realised. I gained great satisfaction from this which is what motivated me to go into Coaching post my playing career.