After more than two decades in the coaching caper, new Melton Phoenix coach Mark Parnis is looking forward to taking control of his own senior team.
Parnis, who has been involved with several clubs over the journey in junior and reserves coaching roles, decided it was time to take on the challenge of a senior team.
Most recently, Parnis has been coaching under-20s at Westside Strikers.
“I’ve been coaching for 23 years, I started when I was 18,” he said.
“I’ve been a reserves coach and a junior coach for a lot of the time. Between 2008 and 2013, I coached both juniors and reserve teams, but I stretched myself.
“I’ve wanted to get into a senior role for a few years now. I heard about this role and knew a few people who had played here.”
Parnis said he wanted to continue to develop the young playing group.
The Phoenix finished on the bottom of state league 4 west, but showed signs they could stick with most teams during the season.
The average age of the group was between 20 and 23.
“I think it’s a promising club and I bring in a fair bit of experience,” Parnis said.
“I’ve heard a bit about the players and I’m here to help them develop. They’re a good attacking side, it’s in defence they struggled a bit.
“I don’t think there needs to be too much of a shuffle.”
Parnis said he would welcome new players, but wouldn’t go out head-hunting.
“I’ve got a fairly decent network of players I’ve coached in the past. There maybe a few guys who have got senior opportunities where they are, who may be looking for a new team.
“I’m not one to go out hunting players. Everyone has to earn their spot and show they can play 90 minutes.
“If the boys are prepared to work hard, I think we can have a good season.”
Parnis said what division they played in next season was still to be decided.
After finishing bottom of state league 4 west, they were expected to be relegated, but with changes to other teams, there’s still a chance they will stay in state league 4.
“If we do go down we’ll be pushing for promotion,” he said.
“If we stay up we want to finish as high as possible and look at finishing top five.”