How the Rosellas found Ryan’s successor

No advert, no resignation announcement until the position was filled and no external candidates. Cheltenham backed what it had within when selecting its next coach as TYLER LEWIS from CODE Sports details…

Cheltenham was content with what it had between the four walls.

When premiership coach Des Ryan announced his resignation at the Rosellas’ presentation night, the club didn’t jump at an advert to replace him.

In fact, they didn’t advertise at all. They backed what they had within.

President Adam King, vice president Geoff Keogh , ex-St Kilda and Sydney player Jayson Daniels and an assortment of around eight players formed a subcommittee.

The subcommittee finalised its choice on Wednesday night, with Ryan’s former assistant Justin Pickering earning the prized role.

After winning both reserves and senior premierships, the Rosellas were determined for a smooth transition.

“We just felt really comfortable with our assistants and the people involved in the club throughout the year,” King said.

“One of the things we had with our assistants – if you want to call them that – is the dynamic of the coaching group as a whole.

“There’s no egos in there, which meant they worked really well together.

“Moving on from there we spent a lot of time with the playing group, understanding their thoughts on it all, the coaches and what they were looking for.”

Pickering said the immediate backing from the club to go internal was “without doubt” rewarding.

“I think this year we had a really good team with Brad Berry, myself and Dessy,” he said.

“We’ve got some pretty good football IQ between us, Brad has coached in his own right, myself and also Dessy, we really did have three senior coaches working well.

“Kingy (Adam King), the club and, most importantly, the playing group recognised that, we all have great attributes.

“To have the confidence that someone within was ready to fill in the shoes was rewarding but it gives us great confidence to know the club is right behind the coaching staff.

“It is easy to look outside, but it’s very rewarding to know they think they have the right people within the club.”

The scenes at Linton St were remarkable. Picture: Valeriu Campan

Pickering, who assisted Ryan from 2021 onwards, is a players’ coach who prides himself on his ability to build relationships.

“You’ve got to build a trust with the players, not only in a football sense but away from football,” he said.

“It’s important to know what they’re doing, work-wise, studying, their parents, to connect with them other than training and match day.

“I think a lot of players enjoy that side of what I bring, that I do like to get involved with them outside of football, to a point.

“Football is probably our third priority in life, we always say that at Cheltenham; you’ve your family, work and then probably football.

“Why wouldn’t you make sure you know as much as you can about them.”