8 months ago

Game day program Semi Final 1

From photography to

From photography to engineering. And everything in between.

DEAN VICKERMAN HAS TRULY UNITED MELBOURNE In a squad with many big names, there is one man that has been at the forefront of Melbourne United’s charge to the Finals. Dean Vickerman, in his first season as head coach, has created an environment of competitiveness and honesty in Melbourne. Melbourne forward Tai Wesley, who won the 2015 NBL Championship with Vickerman in New Zealand, credited his coach for the team’s turnaround from winning 13 games and finishing sixth in 2017 season to winning 20 games this season. “I think he’s the reason why the culture is starting to be formed and we’re starting to get a bit of an identity – I credit a lot of that to him. He’s come in and from the start, put in what he wants – he wants to be a defensive team.” Wesley said. The identity is one that, no matter the obstacles – be it injury, travel or anything else thrown their way – the team will fight hard and never give up. It wasn’t just developed overnight though, it has been forged and improved on, from the moment Vickerman took over the team. After being appointed as coach in March last year, Vickerman got straight to work. Realising that a cultural change was needed, Vickerman went about creating an environment that challenges his players to be better and take ownership of their actions. Vickerman turned to leadership consultant Trent Hotton to come in and work with himself and the playing group. “He does a good job of having the players really buy into what they believe are going to be the things that are most important to the team. He did a great job of that, but then following up with how we communicate as a group and how we hold each other accountable to the things that we said we were going to do.” Vickerman said. “We came up with our own little trademark; S.H.A.R.E – I can’t tell you what all those letters mean but I think it’s quite fitting. When you’ve got so much talent, the ability to share the basketball and share the load has been important for this group.” Vickerman describes Hotton as the team’s ‘mechanic’. “He got us going early on and then comes in and services us when we him to, to keep the car running smoothly.” With the actions and identity that the team wanted to live by in place, a ruthless defensive mentality was the next progression. “I’m a great believer that the better defensive teams are going to have a better opportunity to win the Championship.” Vickerman said. “There’s been a good buy-in and we’ve had our ebbs and flows about how we’ve gone but generally when we’re focused and locked in, we’re one of the better defensive teams in the league.” With Vickerman leading the charge, the leadership of Chris Goulding has ensured the playing group’s commitment to the processes and honesty with one another has never wavered. 11 Game Day Program

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