In a spare room of his home in Matraville, Adam Schneider is sitting on a chair with his phone in one hand monitoring the numbers while watching the game on TV.
It would not be an unusual set-up for many football fans, except Schneider is part of the Greater Western Sydney coaching staff. Instead of plotting victory alongside the rest of Leon Cameron’s brains trust, the Giants defensive coach is in a makeshift coaches box 1000 kilometres away.
“I’ve got a little TV on a table in front of me,” Schneider, a former Swans premiership player, said. “I’m sitting on a chair with headphones in, phone in one hand checking stats on the computer, with Foxtel on one half of the screen and the Microsoft Teams on the other half.”
Coaching at the top level is hard enough at the best of times, let alone doing it remotely, as Schneider found after returning home with the blessing of the Giants two weeks ago to support his family in locked-down Sydney.
The tyranny of distance is easier to overcome during the week. Schneider can still review the game, work on strategies and brief his players for their upcoming opponent, though he has to be extremely well prepared and organised.
“There no last minute on game day where you can send a quick message on the phone or walk out and tell them,” Schneider said.
Schneider is at the mercy of the TV producers in terms of what he can see in a game. He does not have a panoramic view to assess what is happening behind the ball – which is problematic for a back line coach – the positioning of players or running patterns. He can see no more than the fan on the couch.
Due to the slight delay on Channel Seven, what he sees has happened a few seconds earlier, usually pre-empted by the reaction he hears from his colleagues at the ground, who he is connected to via Microsoft Teams and a laptop in the coaches box.