Rory Returns

Thursday, January 25, 2024 - 11:57 AM

Sandover Medallist Rory O'Brien has solidified his name in the history books of Peel Thunder, his two Tuckey medals surpassed only by his three Premierships with the Thunder (Colts 2004, League 2016, League 2017). 

A 244 game WAFL career (139 with Peel) hasn't been enough to satiate Rory's love for the game. Rory returns to the Thunder as the Colts Assistant Coach for the Midfield with the aim to help shape the future of Peels best & brightest.

We caught up with Rory ahead of the 2024 season.

Welcome back Rory! how does it feel to be back at Peel but on the coaching side?

"it's exciting to be back!  Obviously it's where it all began for me and to be able to be with a young group of guys who are really wanting to learn is really exciting to see."

"hopefully I can have some involvement in their development in football, whether that is to play 100 games with the Thunder or to just enjoy footy, wherever that is for them. I'm really excited to be back."

With your experience have you spotted some Colts that could reach 100 games or more at the club?

"Yeah, definitely. I think the drive is there, the competitiveness is there. Being my first year back involved with a group of guys under the age of 19, they're very eager to learn along with a competitiveness that's driving them."

"They're just asking for feedback day in, day out, which is fantastic because I look back at my time and we probably didn't seek feedback that often, or were given it. The players have changed now and they want to learn, they want to know what their strengths are, how can they get stronger and then what their weaknesses may be and what they can work on."

"The group we've got at the moment are really driving themselves and our goal is to help guide them."

What are you most excited for in the 2024 season?

"I'm most excited to Just help anyone in the team in all different parts, to be able to help develop their game to where they want to take it to which that might be off field, having a chat with preparation, or it might be on field in terms of positioning."

"I'm really excited to be able to hopefully pass on things that I've learned throughout my time in football to these young guys coming through and if I can have a small impact on one, two, 10, how many there may be, I find that quite fulfilling."

If you had to give just one piece of advice to any aspiring player what would it be?

"I think the biggest thing is to keep pushing yourself. You're never a complete footballer. You should always be willing to push yourself beyond boundaries and test yourself because the body is an interesting beast. Until you push yourself to limits you don't know what it can actually do. Continue pushing yourself, working and testing yourself to know what your body is actually capable of. "

"Be a sponge. I always had the big motto of; while you can still keep playing, you can still keep developing. You're never a complete player. No matter how old you get, whether you're 16, 17, 18, 32, 38, whatever it is, you can still always learn parts of the game."