Sport

Co-coaches announced

By Deniliquin Pastoral Times

A Mathoura premiership player from 1993 and a senior player for many years will take the reins of the thirds team next year.

Tim McCormick (pictured) and Nathan O’Callaghan have more than 700 senior caps between them — most of them at Mathoura.

And the duo have already begun preparations for the 2019 Picola and District Football League season, stating their priority was player numbers.

The Timbercutters have had a tumultuous run with the under-17s side in recent times.

It wasn’t long ago the club wasn’t able to field a thirds team. But if you look back further it only took the club two years to go from no team at all to a grand final in the under-17s.

Now McCormick and O’Callaghan are keen to set Mathoura back on a winning run.

But first, the co-coaches need the players.

‘‘In my day you would grow up somewhere and keep playing your footy local rather than going off to university in Melbourne like they do today,’’ McCormick said.

‘‘Nathan and I are quite like-minded in sport and in life. If we can get the kids to play out here it’ll be more about getting them ready for senior football, and if that’s at Mathoura, even better.

‘‘We realise what numbers have been and will be a struggle for us. But we will be putting together an expression of interest evening on December 19 at the Mathoura clubrooms where parents can come in and basically ask us anything they’re keen to know,’’ he said.

McCormick was the club president at a time when the senior footballers were at the peak of their powers, reaching the PDFL finals in successive years near 2010.

‘‘That was actually during the time we took the Picola League to court over the allocation of the grand final venue, it went all the way to the Melbourne Magistrates’ Court actually,’’ he said.

But the club has moved past that, and is solely looking to field a thirds team in the coming season, and to build on that each season after.

‘‘We also realise there are quite a few clubs in the area that are flush with junior players.

‘‘If they have 40 kids trialling for 25 spots then there is an overflow, and we’d be keen to see that overflow come to us.

‘‘We’re absolutely not head-hunting those players but we want to make sure those kids have somewhere to play week in, week out.

‘‘Obviously we won’t be sure of the quantity or quality of those players, but our season goal is more about mentoring rather than winning every game, and we’ll go from there,’’ he said.