Neil steps up as Bombers’ coach for 2018 TDFL By JUSTIN JENVEY

Myrtleford Times - - Sport -

DEDERANG Mt Beauty has ap­pointed Jack Neil as its se­nior foot­ball coach for next sea­son.

Neil was an as­sis­tant coach with the Bombers this year after lead­ing Fed­eral to the Up­per Murray premier­ship in 2016.

He re­places Ben Mitchell who over­saw the Bombers dur­ing the past two Tal­lan­gatta and Dis­trict foot­ball cam­paigns.

Neil has a big task to get the Bombers com­pet­i­tive again but said he was look­ing for­ward to the chal­lenge. “I’m ex­cited, ob­vi­ously it’s a big job but for me it’s a good way to give back to the club I grew up play­ing for,” he said.

“The club has gone through a bit of a tran­si­tion phase over the past few years and the offfield stuff is at the point where it’s pretty set­tled now.

“I guess the next thing to do is to try and push to­wards re­de­vel­op­ing our play­ing group.”

The Bombers have won just won five games in the past three sea­sons and col­lected the wooden spoon in 2017 with the team’s sole win com­ing against Wodonga Saints in round seven.

The Bombers have a num­ber of promis­ing young­sters and Neil said the club would look to add to its play­ing stocks this off­sea­son in an at­tempt to climb the lad­der.

“Usu­ally the tran­si­tion to se­nior footy for young guys is along­side a few ex­pe­ri­enced and ma­ture play­ers but a lot of these guys have had to tran­si­tion to­gether in one big hit,” Neil said.

“Guys like Jaydn Chalmers, Trent Bar­ton, Jake Pronk and Hay­den All­sop have had to fast track their learn­ing and have all re­ally stepped up and made the most of the club’s sit­u­a­tion.

“This year there was a big em­pha­sis on our ju­niors and I think there were some real pos­i­tives gained there.

“There are def­i­nitely some young play­ers that are re­ally tal­ented, some of our thirds will be play­ing se­nior footy next year after a cou­ple played games this year.”

Neil said he will look at bring­ing back for­mer play­ers while key po­si­tion tal­ent is high on the club’s wish list.

“With the points sys­tem in play now it’s re­ally hard to re­cruit a lot of play­ers without some of them be­ing your for­mer ju­niors,” he said.

“We have al­ready reached out to some play­ers that have come through our ju­niors or been in­volved with the club in the past.

“We will hope­fully sit down with more guys over the com­ing weeks about the pos­si­bil­i­ties of com­ing back.

“We played without a ruck­man or a real dom­i­nant for­ward all last year and to be com­pet­i­tive you need those types of play­ers so they will be a high pri­or­ity.”

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