Radical coaching shake up has Western Eagles on the rise

Matthew Lodkowski shows his tricks for the Western Eagles. Picture Damian Visentini

Western Eagles players have left it late but are finally singing from the same hymn sheet in Football Federation Victoria’s state league 3.

A radical new coaching set-up, tinkering of the game plan and some handy new additions have seen the Eagles create a wedge with the sides in the dreaded relegation zone.

The Eagles claimed a 2-0 win over Whittlesea United at the Polish Sports and Recreation Complex on Saturday to make it three wins in a row and move five points clear of the bottom two.

“Finally the team is starting to gel,” Eagles president Wojtek Laskowski told

Star Weekly.

“They’re starting to play as a team rather than a bunch of individuals.

“In the next few weeks, teams and players are going to be playing desperately and any result can happen, so we just want to make a buffer above the relegation zone and actually start thinking about next season.”

The Eagles still have some work to do to stay alive in the division. With 12 points available for the bottom two sides, the Eagles will be eager to keep on winning to snuff out the slim possibility of relegation.

There’s a different mood in the Eagles’ nest, one that is bringing positive results, and for the first time this season they are looking up the ladder and not over their shoulders.

The move to a player-driven model of coaching has been credited for the improved results at the Eagles.

Instead of sourcing an outside influence, the Eagles decided to let the more experienced players in the senior team – Lukasz Lewinski, Charles Mizzi, Mateusz Kowalski and Murry Haining – take control in a player-coach capacity.

It seems to be working so far with the other players responding to their messages.

“The younger players listen to those boys,” Laskowski said. “They not only lead during the training sessions, but they also lead during the games. They make sure training sessions are, in the words of one of the boys, harder than games.

“That’s what has set us apart in the past few weeks and it’s started to show in our results.”

Robert Chelchowski scored both Eagles goals in the win over Whittlesea and the diminutive striker has scored 10 goals in 12 games this season.

In recent weeks, he has formed a dangerous strike partnership with Kacper Hubiak, who has returned after a stint with Essendon Royals.

They are also benefitting from the service of Kowalski and Matthew Lodkowski in the midfield.

The Eagles have looked more dangerous and lit up the scoreboard with nine goals in the past three matches.

Next up for the Eagles is a trip on Saturday to Melbourne City, a team which has been similarly inconsistent this season.