The Wheeler Centre
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Paul Roos in Conversation with Karen Lyon
By any standards, Paul Roos is a towering figure in the AFL. He played 356 games for Fitzroy and Sydney in the 1980s and 1990s and was named an All-Australian player seven times. In his coaching career, he led the Sydney Swans to their 2005 premiership, breaking a 72-year drought. More recently, he’s been credited with turning the Melbourne Demons from AFL punchline to serious finals contenders.
As a player, Roos was known for his dignity and decency on the field. In 17 seasons he was reported only once (for bad language) and found not guilty. As a coach he’s profoundly altered the fortunes of two clubs, and is associated with a new style of AFL leadership that incorporates a ‘no dickheads policy’ and encourages mindfulness and meditation among players.
In his new book, Here It Is, Roos reflects on more than 30 years in football, recounting tales from the coaching box and the club room. In conversation with Karen Lyon, he talks leadership, club culture and life after footy.
Paul Roos is a former AFL footballer and senior coach. He played 269 games for Fitzroy and 87 for Sydney. He was a two-time All-Australian captain and has been inducted into the Australian Football Hall of Fame.
He coached the Sydney Swans from 2002–2010 and led them to the AFL premiership in 2005. He coached Melbourne Football Club from 2014–2016. He lives in Melbourne with his wife and two sons.
For more than two decades, Karen Lyon has covered Melbourne and its sports-obsessed culture. She was a political reporter before crossing the boundary line to sport in 1999, and has been covering the world of sport ever since.