In his debut season as coach of Eastern Suburbs in New Zealand’s Premiership, Malcolm McPherson been able to refine his coaching style and make an impact in the country’s top league courtesy of his learnings on the inaugural OFC/NZF A Licence.
McPherson, who guided Eastern Suburbs to a Lotto NRFL Premier League and Chatham Cup double in 2015, completed part one of the A Licence in December 2015 in time for the 2016 winter season, and is participating in part two of the qualification this week.
“Over the last eight to nine months I’ve been working through the winter season so it’s given me an opportunity to try a few things out and reassess where I was as a coach and refine a few areas in my playing style. It’s certainly been a benefit,” he said.
“You’re refining your ideas and taking ideas from other people, creating a culture that allows players to develop and grow which, hopefully, we have been able to do.
“There’s obviously areas to improve on but I think looking at yourself and the way you manage a group, not just the team but the staff and everything else, it’s been helpful.”
After participating in a course led by Rob Sherman and John Herdman nearly seven years ago, McPherson was impressed by the developments made in both Sherman’s teaching methods and the course content.
“There’s been some refinements to this one and I have to say credit to them because the course we did seven years ago was good – really good,” he said.
“There were some similarities to this one and there’s obviously some advancements in a few of the different areas which has been great.
“Everybody evolves and almost certainly Rob, with the detail he’s incorporated into this course, has certainly evolved as well.”
McPherson also acknowledged the hard work of his fellow participants, understanding the difficulty in juggling the workload required to reach this far in the Oceania coaching pathway while keeping up with day-to-day life.
“We live in a culture where not everybody is full time in the game, we’re not all full-time coaches,” he said.
“There’s a lot of work that needed to go into getting on to part two so I think most people share that similar kind of sentiment around that.
“I think everybody’s got their work done. There’s a bit of anxiety around that for most coaches but I think everybody seems to have done that part of it. We’re all here so that’s a plus.”
McPherson will return to the helm of Eastern Suburbs when the league debutants take on fellow league newcomers Tasman United at 4.35pm at Bill McKinlay Park.