Cats coach re-signs

Southern Riverina news - - SPORT - By James Ben­nett

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.

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