Jake back to coach Saints
JAKE Sharp is Myrtleford’s new senior football coach with the Werribee midfielder agreeing to a threeyear deal at the Saints.
The 23 year-old’s appointment was confirmed to the playing group by president Michael Quirk following Saturday’s final round clash with Wodonga.
Quirk said the club was delighted to have a former junior of Sharp’s ilk return to the club in his prime.
“He has always been on the radar to coach and we knew he would one day, we spoke to him last year about it, but the timing wasn’t right,” Quirk said.
Sharp’s leadership skills are obvious with the midfielder added into Werribee’s five-man leadership group for the 2016 season despite having only just turned 21.
He has remained in the role for the past three years where his reputation has continued to grow despite several setbacks including a broken leg, finger and ruptured ACL.
And while Sharp was beginning to hit his straps as a state league footballer, booting multiple goals in three consecutive games to end the season he says he will walk away satisfied with his VFL career.
“I have had two pretty big injuries in my time at the level and could have pretty easily pulled the pin, but I stuck at it and the last two years I have got some consistency into my game,” he said.
“VFL has been really good and I felt comfortable this year, but the time is right to move on and focus on other areas of my life.”
Sharp has just completed a teaching degree at Victoria University and will move back to the area in time for the beginning of pre-season training in November where he hopes to improve the Saints’ defensive game.
“We have a lot of natural attacking ability in our playing group so developing our defensive side so we’re not in shoot-outs each week will be a focus of the off-season,” he said.
“I also want to up our con- tested ball considering a few of our games are played in pretty muddy conditions at home, I want us to be a really contested side that has a natural attacking flair.”
Sharp is likely to be assisted by one of the men he replaces Terry Burgess as well as Mark Knobel who was on the coaching staff this season.
“During the week most of my planning will be centred on just allowing me to play on a Saturday and take addresses,” Sharp said.
“I feel comfortable with the way I will lead out on the field so it will be more that seeing the game from up top that I will need someone else to do.
“They (Burgess and Kno- bel) will help me a lot with that stuff and seeing the game the way I want to see it, I am pretty comfortable with that.”
Interestingly, Sharp will be the Saints’ equal youngest coach in their history, with the outgoing Terry Burgess also 24 during his first stint at the club in the 1980s.
HEADING HOME: Jake Sharp is leaving Werribee to return to Myrtleford as a playing coach until at least 2021.