Lions hunting new leader
WHOROULY is on the lookout for the next Nigel Robinson or Harry Moran to lead the club’s climb back up the Ovens and King ladder.
Wayne Millis has elected to step down from the helm in order to aid the club’s progress, and said a playing coach who was able to help bolster the Lions’ ranks would be the ideal candidate for the position.
“A lot of coaches step down and say it is due to family commitments or being busy with work, and I have those,” Millis said.
“But that’s not why I’m doing it – for me it is all about what is best for the club.
“We need to attract more players and I don’t think I’m the right guy to do that, given I’ve been here for 20 years.
“I will stick around and help out in any way that I can though.
“A good playing coach from outside the club, someone who can bring four or five mates with him – I feel like that is what we need right now.
“It’s hard, because we are not a club that pays a lot of money, but we’re not looking for blokes who are putting their hand out.
“We want people who want to come to the club for the environment and the opportunity.
“We’ve got a good, solid core of players who are all very close mates, and there is a lot of potential there.”
Millis said firepower was the biggest area of need for the Lions.
“I felt like our defence and midfield held up really well – we just struggled to kick winning scores,” he said.
“If we can land one or two good forwards I think that will turn around very quickly.
“Obviously the hard part is finding those players, but we know what we need.
“We have been talking to players who we feel would be a good fit for the club, but until we find a coach it is hard to convince those guys to come across.
“So the sooner we can get that done the better.”
Millis said the Lions were also looking to inject youth into their line up, but conceded the alignment between Whorouly and the Snow Road Saints had largely failed.
“It is tough to get young players in at the moment – we only had one player at Snow Road this year,” he said.
“Milawa has put the work in to develop that side, and well done to them, but we really need to do something about the competition.
“You look at how healthy the competition was 10 years ago with every club having a thirds side compared to now, and it’s pretty clear that things aren’t working the way they are.
“I don’t have the answers, but I do think there needs to be an alignment between the O&K and the junior league in Wang to help ensure more of those young players stick with footy.”
Despite finishing 11th on the ladder this season, Millis said the Lions were well positioned for an incoming coach.
“It doesn’t look good finishing second from the bottom, but we were very close in both games against Moyhu and the second game against Greta,” he said.
“If we had won two or three extra games, suddenly we finish seventh on the ladder, which looks a lot better.
“I was really happy with out competitiveness, and the good thing is that the hard work has been done for next year, with the majority of players committed.
“When I took on the job last year the first thing I did was get guys to sign on for two years, so the likes of Matt Charleston, Bryce Hooper and Paul Glanville are all on board.
“It gives us a good base to build off.”
BY SCOTT ANDERSON