"He's been great for my career": Masters
(Leigh Masters dishes out a hand ball whilst being tackled against the Northern Blues this season. Photo by Martin Keep).
Williamstown defender Leigh Masters has heaped praise on VFL coach Andy Collins, labelling him as a “teacher of the game”.
Collins was re-signed by the club on a two-year deal which will see him steer the ship until the end of the 2021 season.
News of Collins’ contract extension was music to the ears of Masters, who recently celebrated his 150th VFL match in the win over Essendon a fortnight ago.
“I’ve had him for a fair while now, he’s a teacher of the game,” the 27-year-old said on SEN’s VFL Hour.
“He’s very psychological in the way he coaches and he gets the best out of his players. He’s been great for my career.”
Masters - a Tyntynder local - has played in all 15 matches for the Seagulls this season as one of the real barometers down back.
But it wasn’t always that way for the forward-turned-defender who is yet to add to his 76 career VFL goals in 2019.
“I suppose last year it wasn’t really working out too well for us, we didn’t really have a key forward as such,” Masters said.
“We were struggling and had a fair turnover of players. Nick Rodda came to the club as a backman - ‘Collo’ decided to change it up one game and throw me back, and I think ‘Rods’ was playing a lot better forward than I was and I was playing a little bit better back than he was.
“It’s just sort of stayed the same since then.”
Rodda has been a multiple goal-kicker in nine of his 12 matches this season.
Combining with the high-flying Jaylon Thorpe and State Combine-bound Joel Ottavi (18 and 16 goals respectively), Masters believes its a combination that can continue to be deadly.
“We had Ayce Cordy there and it’s sort of been left up to one key forward. But now we’ve got all these guys bobbing up and they’re able to play in the same team and not jump all over each other,” he said.
“(It’s) been a huge asset for the style of footy that we do play.”
Both Rodda and Thorpe combined to record 14 of the side’s 27 scoring shots in the win over the Bombers.
Masters was the third Seagull this season to celebrate game 150, while Nick Sing was awarded life membership following his 100th club game.
Masters said it’s great to have so many milestones be celebrated in the same season.
“It’s a club where we keep having success and we all enjoy each other’s company so it’s a pretty hard place to leave,” he said.
Williamstown currently sits fourth on the ladder and can secure a top four finish with a win over Coburg at Downer Oval tomorrow.
Click HERE to listen to Leigh’s full interview.