McDow­ell weighs his op­tions af­ter tough loss

Geelong Advertiser - - FOOTY FIX - ALEX OATES THE FU­TURE

IN­VER­LEIGH coach Mark McDow­ell has re­vealed he will make a de­ci­sion on his coach­ing fu­ture by the end of the week af­ter Satur­day’s gut­ting grand fi­nal loss.

With GFL club Grovedale un­der­stood to be cir­cling the Hawks’ men­tor, McDow­ell ad­mit­ted he was un­sure whether to com­mit for an­other sea­son at In­ver­leigh Re­cre­ation Re­serve.

“I’ve said to In­ver­leigh that I wouldn’t make a de­ci­sion on what I’m go­ing to do next year un­til af­ter the grand fi­nal,” McDow­ell said. “But I would make a de­ci­sion fairly quickly and I’ll make it by the end of the week.”

Asked if there was a pos­si­bil­ity he could coach else­where, McDow­ell replied: “It’s a pos­si­bil­ity, I’m not 100 per cent sure”.

McDow­ell’s com­ments came just mo­ments af­ter his side’s 39-point loss to the Pan­thers.

“I thought we came out a bit over ex­u­ber­ant,” McDow­ell said of the slug­gish start.

“That over-ex­u­ber­ance gave away a few free kicks and they were ex­tremely ef­fi­cient with the footy and made us pay.

“We just couldn’t get close enough to put them un­der any real, se­ri­ous pres­sure.”

The Hawks kept com­ing, clos­ing to within three goals on sev­eral oc­ca­sions, but couldn’t close the gap.

McDow­ell lauded the ef­fort of his side, declar­ing he was “im­mensely” proud.

“Ab­so­lutely. That’s the first thing I said to the guys (post match) ... ‘your ef­fort to­day will win a grand fi­nal, but our fum­bles and our in­abil­ity to adapt to the con­di­tions, we need to get bet­ter and learn from that’.

“They’re hurt. All I said was ‘what we pro­duced to­day wasn’t good enough’, but I asked ev­ery in­di­vid­ual, ‘have you done ev­ery­thing you can to be in the best pos­si­ble shape to win a grand fi­nal?’, be­cause it clearly hasn’t been enough and they’ve got to find an­other 5 per cent, whether that be ex­tra skill work, ex­tra train­ing ses­sions, be­ing more pro­fes­sional with your re­cov­ery and be­ing more pro­fes­sional with your prepa­ra­tion, be­cause the en­deav­our is there.”

Dean Muir was un­der duress with a sore ham­string, while Jak KennedyHunt strug­gled with a quad tear, sore shins and a calf strain.

The Hawks also missed sus­pended co-cap­tain Ryan Gar­rard. “He lays 10 tack­les in­side and he’s got that abil­ity to nail a few goals,” McDow­ell said. “We missed him, but would it have made a dif­fer­ence? I don’t think so.”

In­ver­leigh will go in search of a key de­fender, but McDow­ell is con­fi­dent the club has the squad to go one step fur­ther next sea­son.

“I think we’ve ac­tu­ally got the list there,” he said.

“A few play­ers fell over dur­ing the year and one of them was Josh Rees with a patella ten­don is­sue. He would’ve re­ally ben­e­fited us, and Benny Dar­ring­ton is a re­ally good user of the ball and we lost him to a shoul­der in­jury.

“If we were look­ing for a cou­ple of play­ers, it would be those who can use the ball un­der pres­sure.”

GLENN FER­GU­SON Pic­tures:

BAT­TERED AND BRUISED: In­ver­leigh spear­head Jak Kennedy-Hunt lays hurt af­ter tak­ing a heavy knock dur­ing the GDFL grand fi­nal.

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