Coaches' box - Peter McClennan
Take a closer look at the men behind the Queensland NEAFL clubs.
We sat down with the QLD NEAFL coaches at the start of this season, and each week we'll feature one of them for you to find out a bit more about.
First cab off the rank is Mt Gravatt coach, Peter McClennan.
Peter McClennan is returning to the club where he started his coaching career, coming in as senior coach for the Mt Gravatt Vultures.
McClennan remembers his first game fondly, at the Vultures, recalling “passionate parents, supporters and a whole lot of young players chasing the leather around to get a kick.”
After moving over to the Western Magpies, and coaching the side to the 2012 SEQAFL Div 1 premiership, McClennan’s career has come full circle.
His family has a strong connection to the Vultures, with the home ground named Ron McClennan oval, after Peter’s father.
McClennan, who has been coaching for almost 20 years now, never tires of watching players develop and reach their potential.
“I get a real sense of fulfilment out of seeing a number of players go on to play at a higher level,” he said.
Even when players are not destined for the top level, McClennan is just glad to see players “being part of our magnificent game in some way.”
McClennan’s focus on development will carry through to the Vultures and he said he was looking for a number of players to put their hats in the ring for senior selection.
The success he has had, being involved in numerous grand finals as a coach, has also littered his coaching tenure with highlights.
He puts these down to strong communication, leadership, passion for the game, a commitment to teaching and an ability to create a healthy environment.
One of the funnier moments in the box was when he sent a runner out on the field and then decided to change his message, calling him back.
“He turned around in front of the opposition bench quickly and slipped and fell flat on his face looking, red faced, straight at the opposition bench,” McClennan recalls.
“Both benches broke into hilarious laughter.”
McClennan says his dream job would be coaching AFL and travelling around the globe in the off-season.
Of all the places he would like to visit, the USA is top of his list, maybe because it’s the closest he could get to Elvis, the person he’d most like to meet.
While he would lover to meet the King, the rock n roll is not the only thing on his iPod.
McClennan recently saw Red Hot Chili Peppers in San Francisco, and counts artists from Frank Sinatra to Green Day as some of his favourites.
His favourite top level coach is the Giants’ Kevin Sheedy and his favourite player is hard-nosed Brisbane defender, Joel Patfull.
Sport is a theme in his favourite things, with Gran Torino as his favourite movie; Moneyball his favourite book and Friday Night Lights his favourite TV show.