Cats coach re-signs
Finley Football Club will once again be led by non-playing coach Rob Daniel, with the former Cats premiership player signing on for the 2018 Murray League season.
It will be Daniel’s fifth year in charge, having coached the side in 2011-12 before taking over the role again in 2016, leading the side to two grand final appearances in 2012 and 2016.
Despite the Cats having just one win this season, Daniel says he’s confident the club will turn things around next year.
‘‘I think we struggled this year because the number of players we had were low,’’ he said.
‘‘The plan is to improve on the one win and to hopefully attract some players back to the club. That will allow us to put more pressure on players keeping their spot in the senior side.
‘‘When players know their position is at threat then we can get the most out of them by playing harder and training harder.’’
It’s all positive news so far for the Cats with Lachy Small and Shaun Kable both staying on as captain and vice captain respectively.
Daniel said the seniors will also be boosted by the success of Finley’s thirds side, with Zec Cuppens, Matt Wilson, Dan O’Bryan, Wyatt Gray, Liam Osborne and Dylan Sibraa all having senior experience.
‘‘They’re all a chance of jumping straight into the senior side,’’ he said.
‘‘We also have players in the thirds like Duncan Clarke, Ben Ashley-Cooper and Taylor Kleinschmidt that can step up to senior footy as well.
‘‘We have a lot of young talent and it’s an exciting time for the club.’’
In a coaching coup for the club, Rob’s daughter Jorja has signed on as the Finley Wildcats Youth Girls coach for next year as well.
Club president Ashley Haynes says the club is ecstatic to have signed both Rob and Jorja.
‘‘We are not aware if it has happened elsewhere having a father and daughter combo but we’re very pleased it’s happening here at Finley,’’ he said.
‘‘Both are excellent teachers of the young talent we have coming through our ranks.
‘‘I think Jorja’s re-appointment will be great news for the girls; she’s well liked and understands the game well.
‘‘Rob is an excellent coach, mentor and clubman.
‘‘The club will be working hard over the summer months to ensure that the Cats are competitive across all grades.
‘‘It’s important that we provide a strong representation for our community,’’ Haynes said.
The Cats also announced Steve Parr is to continue as reserves coach, Angus Robertson take over as thirds coach from Michael Taylor, and Mark Milthorpe will coach the fourths.
Finley will also be hosting its presentation nights this week, with the junior vote count to be held in the Kelly Grain room at the Finley Apex Sports and Community Centre tomorrow. The night will start at 5pm with presentations for all junior grades of football and netball.
Senior presentations will be held at the Finley Golf Club at 7pm on Friday night.
To RSVP for the event, contact Michael on 0428 346 539 by this afternoon.
Jorja Daniel will lead the Finley Wildcats for the 2018 Shepparton and Districts Junior Football League Youth Girls season.
Daniel coached the Wildcats in their inaugural season in 2016, and this year led the side to a grand final only to go down by eight points to Shepparton Notre in the decider.
The 19 year-old already has an impressive coaching resume´ heading into her third season at the helm, and she has also previously been involved with the V-Line Cup and TAC Murray Bushrangers.
Her hard work didn’t go unnoticed with Daniel recently receiving the Goulburn Murray Female Coach of the Year.
The Wildcats’ coach said it was quite a shock when she found out about the honour.
‘‘I was the only nominee for the Coach of the Year,’’ she said.
‘‘I don’t know how many women’s footy coaches are out there but to be the only nominated coach was quite a surprise.’’
Daniel said the choice to sign on as the Wildcats head coach was a pretty easy decision, saying there’s plenty of potential at the club.
‘‘I like Finley . . . I’m not sure if I ever want to leave,’’ she said.
‘‘I thought about leaving half way through this season to focus on getting a job down in Melbourne, but when you enjoy coaching so much and the team is playing so well, it’s pretty hard to leave.
‘‘I want to finish what I started. My main aim is to keep developing the girls and hopefully go one step further by winning a premiership.’’
Daniel said she enjoys coaching the young Wildcats team and learned her trade from her father, Rob, who has re-signed as Finley Football Club’s senior coach.
‘‘I coached netball for a lot of years and observed my dad coaching footy, and going into the huddles really inspired me,’’ she said.
‘‘I get a kick out of seeing the growth of players starting from March until September and looking at the young players and saying, ‘wow, look how far they’ve come’.’’
Daniel said the success the Wildcats enjoyed htis season will hopefully draw more girls into playing women’s football.
‘‘We will lose a couple of our older players next year,’’ she said.
‘‘But at the start of this year we had 12 new younger players come in, so hopefully we can have the same again in 2018.
‘‘It’s important to get the girls to enjoy playing footy.
‘‘They can have many pathways to get to AFL Women’s and potentially a full time job (playing in the AFLW) in the future so I always encourage the girls to keep getting involved.
‘‘It would be a dream come true to see one of my players play in the AFLW comp.’’
Finley Wildcats coach Jorja Daniel with her father and Finley senior coach Rob following their re-appointments to lead their respective sides for the 2018 season.
Jorja Daniel with her Goulburn Murray Female Coach of the Year award.