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The Western Force lost their identity during their horror 2015 campaign, but centre Kyle Godwin is confident they’ve rediscovered themselves after a brutally honest review.
The Force finished dead last in 2015 in a season that produced just three wins from 16 games.
After the campaign finished, Force players and coaches got together for an open and honest review – and they soon realised that something very important was missing.
“One of the main things the boys picked out of it is we forget who we were – who we wanted to play for,” Godwin said.
“We lost that team culture of winning and losing together.
“That’s something Foles (coach Michael Foley) is really implementing this year.”
In a bid to address the issue, the Force employed leadership expert Darren Harris during the off-season.
Harris, a former assistant coach at AFL club Carlton, has helped revive the team’s culture to what it was in 2014, when the Force only narrowly missed the finals.
“A lot of stuff revolves around challenging each other on and off the field,” Godwin said.
“When the boys are doing well, there’s a big emphasis on giving them a pat on the back.
“Or when the boys are out of line, having the courage to call them out for the benefit of the team.
“He’s been really building that team culture.”
On the field, the Force have vowed to play with more width and speed in 2016.
It’s music to the ears of Godwin, who will have a big responsibility playing in either the No.12 or 13 guernsey.
“Last year our ball wasn’t quick enough, and we weren’t playing with enough width,” Godwin said.
“We were very tight. Teams were able to read us quite easily. So they are some of the things we’re implementing this year.”