Absentee Line - Text 0417 596 611 or Phone Primary 8150 2397, Secondary 8150 2323 or Email student.reception@smc.sa.edu.au

Former AFL Player and St Michael’s Old Scholar returns to grow new Sports Talent Development Program in 2024

St Michael’s College is excited to announce the engagement of Matthew Lokan as our Sports Talent Development Program Coordinator in 2024, working within the
Co-curricular sport department.

Matthew, an SMC graduate from the Class of 2000, is a former AFL player who played 46 games for the Collingwood Football club, including the 2003 Grand Final and was the 2003 Rising Star Nominee. Matt’s background is extensive across the elite playing and coaching arena and includes:

• Playing 46 games for Collingwood
• Playing 114 games for the Port Adelaide Magpies in the SANFL
• Coaching Glenelg (SANFL) 2015-2017
• Coaching at Port Adelaide Football Club 2018 -2022
AFL Development Coach
• Current Assistant Coach with the State U/18 AFL team
• Level Three AFL Coach

The new Talent Development Sports Program will provide students with enriching and rewarding opportunities to develop and excel in their athletic pursuits through holistic growth. Being run through the co-curricular program, students will participate in talent skill development opportunities through trainings, specialised programs, workshops and educational sessions.

Principal, Tony Daley is excited to bring this program to St Michael’s, “Matthew’s experience in this area of program development, will bring a wealth of experience to the co-curricular program. We’re looking forward to continually growing in this area and seeing even more success from the SMC sports teams. Not only is this a sports program, it includes a holistic approach, developing leadership skills and qualities in our students”.

A key feature of the program will be student athlete balance (physical health, wellbeing & school engagement), through goal setting exercises, collaboration with experts and elite athletes, team building activities, community service initiatives and events. Students will be given comprehensive support, guidance, and resources, which will nurture their physical, personal and sport-specific growth, including resilience, mindfulness, and self-confidence.

Matthew advises his coaching philosophy is “based around giving athletes the skills to maximise potential. Exploring not only the tactical and technical aspect of sport but also the ensuring athletes maintain a positive physical and mental well-being”.
“I am a big believer that mental and physical wellbeing is as critical in an athlete’s journey. Teaching athletes how to maintain positive mental and physical health is critical in athletic development. Managing time, respectful and healthy relationships, physical preparation and dealing with the high and lows of sport is vital to development and maximizing one’s potential”.

The program will be developed by Matthew during 2024 and expanded in 2025 with elite coaching and group training sessions. He will be working with students across all sports and teams to help them develop as athletes, and as the program develops in 2025, new programs will be added.

Matthew’s role also includes coach recruitment and development to ensure competent and motivated coaching staff across all St Michael’s co-curricular sports teams.

Matthew will also be overseeing the SMC Football program as Football Director across both the boys and girls teams, where he will be developing the program, working with the coaches on their training plans; developing the St Michael’s game style and communicating with parents.

Matthew was involved in developing and coordinating the Port Adelaide FC new draftee development program, educating new draftees around the vital skills to transition from school/work into elite sporting programs. “I was involved with working on fundamentals and skill development of AFL football but also educating young players on how to maximize the opportunity they have working in a professional environment. Many needed education on time management, how to listen and retain information in meetings, plan for life outside of football, media training, social media distractions, finance management and other skills”.

Principal Daley says, “This exciting new program is just another way St Michael’s College is bringing new opportunities, aiming to engage, nurture and develop students’ participation. Providing a number of offerings to support individual and team sporting journeys and provide a series of initiatives for students to engage with, participate in, and accelerate their sporting pursuits”.

We look forward to bringing students more information about how they can get involved, in early 2024.