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South Mildura coach John Pratt (third, left) addresses his troops this season.

TO be a good football coach you need to be a good listener.

It’s not always about talking and being the loudest in the room, coaching is much more than that in the modern era.

The good coaches are the ones who find a balance between knowing when its time to shut up and listen.

South Mildura’s John Pratt is nearing the end of his first full season as a senior football coach.

He’s the first to admit it hasn’t been easy, but despite the lack of on-field success, Pratt has been lauded for his efforts.

The players like and respect him and the supporters are behind the direction he is taking the club.

But Pratt is also a realist and knows his side needs to deliver in 2020.

The talented on-baller has already started planning for next season, laying the foundations for the Dogs’ rise back up the ladder.

“It was a bit rushed last year,” Pratt said. “I moved here pretty late in the scheme of things.

“It took me a while to get to know the place and to get to know the boys.

“I was finding my feet and the recruitment was obviously left too late.

“So we have already started the ball rolling with that (recruiting).

“We are actually looking at some recruits for next year.”

Pratt knows that preparation is paramount to building success.

He has already put countless hours into planning for next season.

It’s this meticulous attention to detail which he knows is needed to lifted the Dogs up the ladder.

Pratt, like all other South supporters, wants success, but he knows there are a lot of things which are needed to a create a successful football side.

“I’ve already started looking at our pre-season and how that is going to look – when we are starting and when we are going to have our block of breaks,” said Pratt.

“So planning is months and months in front of what it would have been last year.

“Things are going to be a lot more organised and a lot more thought-out going into our next pre-season.

“It is obviously a massive advantage on this year.”

Story & photo courtesy of Sunraysia Daily

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