Zodiac
Earlier this year

SEM Phoenix set to re-sign coach Simon Mitchell

Honestly this guy must have some serious connections I thought it was a virtual certainty that SEM would sign a new coach next season (Goorjian?) the team has never been worse than it is now at 12-11.

They've gone backwards in a big way this season and didn't have the Mitch Creek stuff as an excuse this season either. I can only assume Goorjian has already knocked them back.

https://nbl.com.au/news/in-the-post-phoenix-set-to-back-in-mitchell-stars

It also says SEM are in a strong position to keep Creek and Ryan Broekhoff which is interesting as Broekhoff just re-signed to a 2 year deal before the season.

Ryan Broekhoff has re-signed with the Phoenix for two years, committing to the club to the conclusion of the NBL23 season.


https://nbl.com.au/news/broekhoff-back-with-the-phoenix

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Perthworld  
Earlier this year

Honestly this guy must have some serious connections

Definitely. I recall when an expansion SEM first announced the signing many Victorians on here were shocked at how someone with his CV could get the nod.

What a baffling time to re-sign a coach who is has dropped out of the top four with a 1-4 run.

On "Last 5" games form SEM are 9th, only ahead of NZB.

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AngusH  
Earlier this year

Yeah, I'm a bit surprised. Every season it's felt like the roster has been a bit unbalanced, but that wasn't the case this year. They did stuff up on the import position and took way too long to bring in Ashley who has struggled to make an impact, but even without Ashley there is enough talent here that SEM should have been a top 4 lock.

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ME (he/kangaroo)  
Earlier this year

I guess that's another few seasons of running the team through scrubs like Le Afa and Adnam. YAY!

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Zodiac  
Earlier this year

Some of their roster decisions are bizarre like giving Tohi Smith-Milner a 2 year deal, why he was out of the league? When they re-signed Dane Pineau for 3 years again why? They just signed Reuben Te Rangi to a 2 year extension too, who are they competing with for his signature he's fortunate to still be in the league? Making Kyle Adnam their captain too.

Now they're going to re-sign Mitchell when they've fallen to 6th on the ladder and just had back to back losses to Adelaide and Cairns, not something a team moving in the right direction does. I know Tommy Greer is the GM but surely there is someone else there keeping an eye on him?

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Aussie  
Earlier this year

Goorj won't leave Illawarra.

His relationship with Dorry is very strong.

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Dunkman  
Earlier this year

Goorg will retire imo. He'll just oversee the hawks with Jacob J coaching.
Mitchell is in Creeks inner circle, Creek stays, Mitchell stays.
Milner, Terangi, Leafa are budget players, it allows them to get expensive imports and keep Creek. There imports this season are average, Mumford been k but the two fives are to hot and cold.
Mitchell playing of leafa ahead Glidon has been very surprising.

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Zodiac  
Earlier this year

Strong enough that Goorj wanted a contract extension in the off-season and didn't get one?

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Dunkman  
Earlier this year

Goorg might be great mates with Dorry but he not the man with the money or signs the cheques. The American bloke makes those decisions.

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Isaac  
Earlier this year

Dunkman, that would be my guess too on the bench players. Lock in some known quantities so you have some sense of stability. Look at Adelaide's roster and you get some vague mercenary types like Malou. Coenraad getting minutes over half of Illawarra's options.

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orbit  
Earlier this year

Mitch besties with Greer. He's safe!

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hoopie  
Earlier this year

You don't have to have great players to make a great team - just look at the Jumpers. In fact, Jumpers remind me of the Phoenix when they started.

To me, Phoenix’s problems are between the ears, and I don’t think Mitchell is the guy to overcome these problems.

When Phoenix is on top and relaxed, they can be awesome. But as soon as they’re under pressure, they lose confidence and go too iso, and it all breaks down.

I still reckon Creek is the barometer for this team, and lately he hasn’t looked anything as quick or confident as he did at the start of the season, and the rest of the team follows.

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NBLTigers  
Earlier this year

Wow, not sure what Phoenix are thinking. Simon Mitchell doesn't get the best out of his players.

I watched Overtime on Tuesday and even they were criticising Mitchell’s game-plan. Phoenix are just a very frustrating franchise to watch. One week they stay competitive against the top team then a week later they lose to Cairns Taipans and Adelaide 36ers?

Won’t be surprised if they take United all the way down till the final buzzer tonight.

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LV  
Earlier this year

You gotta look at these things with a long term perspective

He's been there 3 years

First year they started well, 5-2 and the losses were to Perth and Melbourne

Lost the last 8 games of the season to finish 9-19, which was disappointing. 4-17 after the 5-2 start was concerning.

But Creek completely lost it, played like an MVP for the first half of the season and then went for a long stretch where he really struggled, I think his back was playing up?

Also unfortunate that Tai Wesley did his hammy 5 minutes into their first game and missed 2 months

Year 2 was up and down, but the final result pretty impressive- had a 17 point lead in Game 3 of the semi final. If not for some Jock Landale brilliance, they probably go on to win the title. Played the whole season without Dane Pineau too, and it showed.

This year has been a disappointment. No question.

Overall, is Mitchell worth another contract?

To me, it's line ball. I don't have a strong opinion.

Obviously Vickerman and Goorjian appear much stronger coaches. But, good coaches are hard to fins- for every Vickerman or Goorjian there's 5 Dean Demopolous's, Andrew Gaze or Marty Clarke's who get a gig and last 2 or 3 years.

On the other hand, perhaps they think Mitchell is growing into the role and is worth persisting with.

It's certainly interesting that two of the recent multi premiership AFL dynasties started after terrible seasons when many people were calling for the coach to be sacked after several years in the helm and modest results (Geelong, Bomber Thompson 2006 and Richmond, Damien Hardwick 2016).

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LV  
Earlier this year

And in fact, a more recent example is Simon Goodwin who was under immense pressure before last season after Melbourne struggled in 2019 and 2020 under his leadership

2021, Melbourne won the flag after winning the minor premiership and then playing one of the more dominant finals series in memory

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Fox87  
Earlier this year

Anyone who thinks that phoenix should move on from Mitchell has rocks in their head.
Last year they were semi finalists. They are above 500
Covid caused huge issues with training and scheduling early in the year.
He has shown he can coach and deserves another contract.
The bigger issue is the pathetic finals system. Should be top 6 or at worse top 5.

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