PAUL Roos says Melbourne’s recent effort on the road against Port Adelaide and the chance to discuss his coaching future with his family during the split round were the key moments in his decision to coach the Demons for a third season.
Roos said his team’s ability to come back from six goals down and fall short by just three points to the Power at the Adelaide Oval in the first week of round 18, combined with the opportunity to pause last weekend confirmed he would coach Melbourne until the end of 2016.
“I just had a chance to get away on the weekend and I spoke to my wife (Tami) and my boys about it, so it was probably the first time I’ve had a break and had a chance to talk about it, so given we’ve made a decision, I didn’t want to make too big a deal out of it,” he said on Roos’ Views on Monday.
“[I] just [wanted] to get it out of the way and get the players to focus on what we’re trying to do over the next five weeks.”
Roos said Melbourne’s effort to almost win its second match at Adelaide Oval this year reinforced to him that the team was on the right track.
“I’ve just been looking at improvement and trying to improve. As a coach, you feel responsible for how the team’s going – even though I wasn’t here in the past, you still feel a bit responsible for the pain that the supporters are going through,” he said.
“[In] my own mind, I said leading into the Port game that ‘if we could have a really good effort here today and see some real improvement, then I think we’re going in the right direction’.
“That was pretty important in the decision-making process.”
Roos said he had thoroughly enjoyed coaching the Demons so far, but added that three seasons was his the maximum as coach of the club.
“I think I may have been pretty clear now that it can’t be any longer than three years and I’ve spoken about that,” he said.
“We just reinforced that – Tami and I, and the boys. We talked about that a little bit. The family was really supportive and I just feel like another 18 months – I wouldn’t be able to complete the task that I really wanted to do and the club wants to do.
“I think two and a half years gives us a chance to hopefully set the club up and in a good position to hand it over.”
Roos spoke to the leadership group to “tick it off with them”, before he spoke to the team before Monday’s training session.
“That’s where the process started when I first met with them, prior to taking the job,” he said.
“I just wanted to make sure that they were comfortable with where we’re heading as a footy club and their responsibility in it.
“I don’t want to make too big a fuss about it, but the fact that we’ve got five games to go and we’ve got to continue to improve should be where the focus is.”
Roos said the fact he was being asked more frequently, if he was going to take up his third year option, meant that the issue needed to be addressed.
“A lot of our players are committed, which is fantastic to have those guys commit to the club, so I think for the players to know what’s going to happen in the next two years. I think the players have got some real trust in us now and also to make the right decisions, as to who’s going to coach the club moving forward,” he said.
“I spoke to Josh [Mahoney], Peter [Jackson] and Todd [Viney]. I spoke to a number of other people on the weekend and Peter was pretty pleased, but it was a brief conversation.
“I’ve had a lot of conversations over the journey and I don’t want to make it a huge deal and I don’t either. I think he was pretty pleased and now we can move on and get down to the task.”
Roos said overseeing a third season would make a significant difference.
“Going into this off-season, I’ve got a lot greater understanding of the team that I had last off-season,” he said.
“Last off-season was about relationships and trying to keep the current group together and give them all a chance to improve and learn the game plan.
“The next pre-season, I think we’ll train a little bit harder and a little bit differently and I’ve spoken to Misso (Dave Misson) about that. We’ve got a greater understanding of what we need as a club, sitting down with Todd and the other coaches will get involved in that.
“I think the off-season will be a lot better set up for us and then to have another two years after that, hopefully we can get to some point where I can leave and I’m happy with [where] the club’s at.”
At the end of the 2016 season, Roos said he was hopeful of remaining with the club in some way, shape or form.
“I wouldn’t mind staying involved and we’ve had a brief discussion with Peter [Jackson]. It certainly wouldn’t be a full-time capacity,” he said.
“I’ve talked about heading overseas and spending some time over there with Tami’s family, with her and her nieces and nephews – but pretty much being here for most of the football season in some capacity.
“I think we’re heading in the right direction and I’d like to be part of it, one way or the other, at some point.”