Whyalla's greatest coaches

IN ACTION: Croatia coach Jacky Braidwood took Croatia to 10 league titles in a row between 1968 and 1977.

IN ACTION: Croatia coach Jacky Braidwood took Croatia to 10 league titles in a row between 1968 and 1977.

So what defines a great coach? Is it training techniques , tactical sense , being a motivator , success or a little bit of everything? .This list is difficult in a sense that most of us don't see what's going on behind closed doors but at the end of the day most sports people are judged on success, so that's what I've done here .

1. Albert McGirr -: ( Wanderers 60s , 70s )A lot of years has passed since Albert took Wanderers and is was difficult to find out what he was like as a coach . He was though one of the earliest coaches to have multiple success taking the Blues to an Association cup in 1965 and then league championships in 66 and 68 with the likes of Dawson , Ripley , Munn and Russell in his talented team .

2. Jacky Braidwood-: ( Croatia, Rothmans 60s , 70s ) .The greatest coach of all was Jacky Braidwood.No other coach comes even close to his success as he took Croatia to 10 league titles in a row between 1968-77 with a host of cups along the way . He had a great understanding with team manager Alan Harrison and would regular talk tactics for the coming game . Jacky would then take on the Rothmans job before a successful stint with Adelaide Croatia in the first division.He is the only person from Whyalla to be inducted in the Australian Croatian soccer hall of fame .

3. Brian Faulks -: (Lions , Rothmans , Wanderers 80s , 90s )The former Manchester United player arrived in Whyalla in the mid 70s at started coaching at junior level at Lions before taking the first team job in 1981 . He won the Association cup in his first season and the following year won the Treble with the club . He then coached the Rothmans side for three years helping them win promotion in 1984 . After a short hiatus, Brian took the Wanderers job and between 90-92 took them off the bottom to top four finishes in the three seasons including a first Blues trophy in 25 years with a league cup win in 1992 .A regimental coach that thrived on fitness and discipline, Brian was old school but it worked very effectively.

4. Teo Culjak -: ( Croatia, Wanderers 80s , 90s )The former Steel United and Croatia winger took over the reigns at Croatia in 1986 and had an immediate impact winning the treble in his first season with titles also in 89 and 90 .As an Assistant to Glynn Shaw in a league winning year in 92 , Teo then took the Wanderers Job for two years taking the club to back to back top four Fairmont homes finishes and an Association cup in 1993 .In his last season Teo returned to Croatia and once again delivered a Championship with a 4-1 victory over Hellas in the Fairmont homes Final .A tactically gifted coach that knew every clubs strengths and weaknesses, Teo was the best in his era .

5. Colin Morgan -:( Lions 80s , 90s )Colin took over as coach of Lions in the Mid 80s and had success with an Association cup win in 89 before having a break from the game .He was to return to the dug out two years later and against all odds took out the league championship in 1993 . It was the Fairmont home series and after finishing 3rd they beat Wanderers at home , Savoy away and Virtus in the final in port Pirie all in the space of three weeks to lift the trophy. A real peoples person , Colin got the best out of every player that played at Jenkins park .

6. Bernie Bridges -: ( Croatia 90s )

When Bernie returned from Adelaide after a highly successful playing stint he took on a player/coach roll at Croatia and although it was only for three years he brought home three consecutive league titles between 96-98 .With a highly intelligent soccer brain , when Bernie talked people listened and wasn't shy to let you know if you weren't doing your job on the park . 100% strike rate , can't ask for much more than that .

7. Gary Hedger -:( Steel United 90s , 00s )

With his playing days behind him , the ex-winger became Steel United's coach in 1999 and what was to follow in a four year spell is remarkable . With a young , hungry , talented side, along with assistant coach David Sharp, he won a league title and association cup double in his first two season and a treble in 2001 . He was a coach the players wanted to play for , formed a close knit group within the squad and was soccer savvy . Steel United's greatest coach and club legend

.8. Danny Ferguson -: (Westland United, Croatia 00s, 10s )

After a successful playing career Danny became the coach of Westlands and had immediate success winning the league title and league cup in 2009 and along with Andy Mitchell another league championship in 2012 . After a small break Danny returned to coaching with Croatia in 2015 . With a very young squad he turned them into league champions in 2017 in his final season. The two time coach of the year had a great knack of getting the best out of everyone and wasn't afraid to try players out of position to find the best balance. Along with myself , we are the only coaches in the history of Whyalla soccer to coach league titles with two different clubs .

Honourable mentions-:Tony Norris , Frank Cusselli , Harry Robinson, Roy Ainscough, Eddie Wales , Jacky Kirk, Barry Simpson. Glynn Shaw , Tony Brevi, Andy Mitchell, Gary Larusso and Peter Faulds.