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