“I think that’s part of the benefit of playing and coaching from such a young age is that I’m surrounded by so many different people; I can learn so many different things and really apply that to how I want to coach now and how I want to coach in the future.”  – Brandon Groom. 


Brandon Groom will coach the under-14s boys squad in 2022. Groom continues to play locally in the Illawarra Premier League and also has played at the Flame in the past. 

Wanting to improve the experience for young people in the game was the key reason behind his decision to take up coaching. He began coaching in the Miniroos program at Bellambi.

“I started coaching when I was 19,” he said.

“My main reason for coaching was that I didn’t want kids to fall out of love with the game like I did at that point. 

“I wanted to teach kids how to play football, and I wanted to make sure that kids playing football at a grassroots level didn’t have that same experience I did.”

Groom completed his Football Australia C-Licence and later in 2021 took on his first full-time coaching role at the club with the under-13s youth boys. The side finished fifth in the first phase of the NPL Youth 2 Blue competition. Before this, however, in 2020 he coached at the Flame in an assistant capacity.

“As I did more coaching, I started to enjoy it a lot more and really wanted to try and progress as a coach,” he said.

“I got involved with the Flame as an assistant coach working with Michael Panozzo at the time, who was the 14s’ head coach.

“That year working with Michael worked out really well because I learnt a lot from him and he helped me fine-tune some of the ideas I had.

“I learnt a lot more not just about the idea of tactics and player development but how to coach; how to get that message across to the players.

“The chance to just progress as a coach through the education, the support staff, the whole club structure in terms of the facilities and where the club is trying to get to; it’s just been a really enjoyable experience.”

Groom explained how continuing to play the game at a high level has benefited his coaching. He said seeing player development first-hand is one of the most rewarding parts of coaching.

“The most pleasing thing I see as a coach is when you work so hard in training to try and get a player to develop a certain technical aspect or when you see the team try and achieve a certain team goal; when you see it pay off in a game you get really excited,” he said.

“These kids have so much to learn in terms of football, and you see what you’re teaching them is they’re not just applying and executing, but it’s actually paying off.”

Like many in the local football community, Groom hoped for a completed season in 2022 and the continued development of his squad.

“Ideally, the goal in mind is to keep as many players from my current team in the program. I don’t want to see them drop out because I haven’t developed them as much as I’d like,” he said. 

“I’d like to see some of the players I coach now play first grade in the future for the club.”


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