Nick Maxwell won’t have time to celebrate or commiserate with the GWS Giants after Saturday’s AFL preliminary final as he finds himself in the enviable position of assisting title-chasing clubs in Australia’s two biggest football codes.
The 2010 Collingwood AFL premiership captain has a match-day role with the Giants, working with their leadership group and assisting backline coach Nick Walsh.
Even before linking up with GWS late last year Maxwell was working with the leadership group at established NRL power Melbourne Storm,
On Saturday Maxwell will be in Sydney for the Giants’ home preliminary final against the Western Bulldogs, while the Storm host an NRL preliminary final against Canberra.
‘We play at 5.15pm in Sydney and the Storm play at 7.40pm in Melbourne,” Maxwell told AAP.
“Unfortunately I can’t get down there, but I’ll be charging back to my hotel to watch the Storm game as soon as the Giants are finished.”
It isn’t like Maxwell is forced to choose one game over the other as he has slightly different roles with the two clubs.
“In terms of a game day capacity, I’ve officially got a role wth the Giants on game day,” Maxwell said.
“In terms of the Storm I haven’t got an official game day role, so I get to as many games as I possibly can when they are not clashing with the Giants,
“But obviously I’m on the bench with the Giants, so I’ve got a really important role being able to talk to the players and with 90 rotations they are obviously coming on and off a lot.
“Whereas with the Storm they’ve only got the eight rotations, you don’t have have as much opportunity to speak to the players.”
Likewise, Maxwell is dealing with two very different leadership groups.
The Storm’s is full of veterans while the majority of the Giants are 25 or under .
“With the Storm, the top end leaders in (Cameron) Smith and (Cooper) Cronk and (Billy) Slater and these guys, they have been around for a long time and they actually don’t need a lot of work on the development stuff,” Maxwell said.
‘But the next ladder of leaders is where you need to do a lot of work because you want to make sure that when those guys do finish their careers – and we hope that’s stiil many years away – there’s not going to be a huge drop off
“That other players can step straight in to that capacity
“Obviously the Giants are different in that all the guys who are part of that leadership group are all going to be around for a long time , so their development is at different stages.”
Maxwell isn’t allowing himself to think too much about the possibility of working with both his clubs on successive grand final days in the first weekend of October.
“That’s the dream. But I’m very focused on just the immediate, what’s in front of us right now,” he said.
“We play two really good teams in the (Western) Bulldogs and Canberra and we need to make sure that we get those wins.”.