New Mernda senior coach Paul Derrick wants to help the club return to its winning ways in Northern Football League division 3.
The Demons, who finished seventh with four wins this season, announced on Saturday that Derrick would take over from Steve Power, who decided he wouldn’t continue coaching.
Derrick is a life member at the Demons. He played for the club for 20 years, has coached the under-19s and was interim senior coach for seven games in 2012.
He returns to the Demons having spent three years coaching at Essendon District Football League side Roxburgh Park. During that time he coached the Magpies to two grand finals and a preliminary final.
He was going to coach them again this year, but stood down six weeks out before the season started.
Derrick said the year off had left him refreshed and he was ready to get back into the coaching game.
He said the Demons coaching job was the only role he was willing to take on, with his past connections drawing him to the role.
“I watched a few games this year as a player,” he said.
“When I was at the club it was ‘win or nothing else’ so it’s hard to watch [them lose].
“We’ve had a bit of fall down the ranks and that happens in football.
“I want to help get the club back to winning on a regular basis.”
Derrick said he’s looking to bring some of the success and culture he had at Roxburgh Park to the Demons.
“When I went to Roxburgh Park I brought a winning culture, which we had at Mernda.
“I want to bring that back to Mernda. I want us to go to another level.
“We should be pushing finals and pushing up the grades.”
Derrick said the club would look to add some players to a talented young group, which wasn’t helped by injuries and suspensions this year.
He said the team had a lot of youth and a good basis to grow and develop.
Getting under-19s back up and running would also benefit the side.
“Bringing under-19s back will help build the club for the better.
“The juniors are going really well and we need to get the seniors going well as well,” he said.