SET TO KANE ’EM

ATKIN­SON IS THOR­OUGHLY DE­LIGHTED TO BE GIVEN CHANCE TO LEAD RUM­BALARA AS HEAD COACH

Shepparton News - - SPORT - By ADEM BAROLLI

Rum­balara Foot­ball Club has an­nounced its coach­ing struc­ture for next year.

Star mid­field Kane Atkin­son will re­place for­mer Essendon star Nathan Lovett-Mur­ray as play­ing coach next sea­son.

Atkin­son, 30, who fea­tured in Mur­ray Foot­ball League’s in­ter­league side this year, did not en­vis­age coach­ing Rumba when he made the move from Mooroopna two years ago.

‘‘It is a huge op­por­tu­nity, I never re­ally thought that I would be a play­ing coach, but now it is a new role and one that I am re­ally look­ing for­ward to,’’ Atkin­son said.

‘‘Rumba is a great club, I have en­joyed my time out here and now as play­ing coach I am in a very lucky po­si­tion to have two great as­sis­tants help­ing me out.’’

Brad Lowe and for­mer Colling­wood for­ward Chris Egan will be watch­ing on from the side­lines as Atkin­son hopes to de­liver Rumba back to the heights of 2014 — the year they last won the MFL se­nior grand fi­nal.

‘‘I am aim­ing to build a strong cul­ture, a win­ning cul­ture and with those guys on board hope­fully we can achieve some­thing pretty spe­cial,’’ Atkin­son said.

‘‘I need strong peo­ple and good foot­ball brains to sup­port me go­ing for­ward as an in­ex­pe­ri­enced coach, and with those two on board, they will not only help me but also help the club go­ing for­ward.’’

Levi Power, who was awarded best-on-ground hon­ours in the vic­to­ri­ous Rumba grand fi­nal, has also re­joined his for­mer club, how­ever, not in a play­ing ca­pac­ity.

Power and for­mer Shep­par­ton team­mate Tim Kelly will co­coach the un­der-17s, while Atkin­son hopes Power will don the boots again after an­nounc­ing his re­tire­ment.

‘‘Tim’s play­ing and hope­fully we get Levi to play too,’’ Atkin­son said with a laugh.

‘‘He reck­ons his body is shot, but hope­fully he will be­gin to get itchy feet once the sea­son rolls around.’’

Peter Gog­gin will lead a Rumba side that fin­ished ninth in the re­serves last sea­son, while highly ac­cred­ited co-coaches Jamie Atkin­son and Phil Guthrie guide the un­der-14s.

Atkin­son and Guthrie re­cently com­pleted a level 2 AFL coach­ing course, which places them among some of the com­pe­ti­tion’s most ac­cred­ited ju­nior coaches.

All aboard: Kane Atkin­son (se­nior coach) and Peter Gog­gin (re­serves coach) stand along­side Rum­balara pres­i­dent Paul Briggs after be­ing an­nounced as the club’s coaches. (In­set) Pres­i­dent Paul Briggs is flanked by thirds co-coaches (L-R) Levi Power and Tim Kelly and fourths co-coaches Jamie Atkin­son and Phil Guthrie.

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