You’ve been the Keilor coach since 2008. I imagine there’s been some significant offers to go elsewhere in that time, what’s kept you around?
It’s not about other offers. For me it’s about the fulfilment, being a hub of the community. One of the great joys is watching boys grow into men and living out dreams like playing TAC Cup football and higher honours.
We saw the village covered in red, white and blue colours during grand final week, that must really make you feel like you’re part of the community.
I think the community know that a lot of work is put in place to give the next generation opportunities. Everyone at the club is doing things for the right reasons, we’re big on developing the person, which then develops the player, then the team.
What about the grand final win. Did it provide you with the most satisfaction?
Watching a group of young men grow game to game was a big thing. We were asking a group of 18 year-olds, on occasions, to go out and perform, sometimes under tremendous adversity on a weekly basis. We had some injuries this year, in some cases some quite serious injuries and these guys, while feeling empathy for their teammates, were able to stand in and fill a void.
On the notion of team, how long do you celebrate the recent premiership before turning an eye to the future?
We move on pretty quick. It’s hard to stand still in this business and if you do, you get knocked over pretty quick.
The club as a whole has grown enormously in recent years, particularly with the explosion of women’s football. What’s your vision for the future?
We’d like to consolidate and grow those numbers, which might mean a secondary oval. When you’ve got about 27 teams going from Auskick through to seniors, it’s hard to co-ordinate time to give everyone the opportunities they need when you’ve only got one oval.
The Calder Rise site was recently sold to a private buyer, is that the kind of oval you’re talking about?
We were pretty strong on the fact we needed that. There’s a lot of choices people face today and if we’re able to provide a good choice in playing a sport, then it’s something that should be supported.