NEW BLOODS

Southern Riverina news - - SPORT - By James Ben­nett

Tocumwal have an­nounced new co­coaches for the 2019 Pi­cola & Dis­trict Foot­ball League sea­son.

David Bates and Den­nis Sut­ton have taken on a dual non-play­ing role, tak­ing over from 2018 play­ing coach Tim Gar­lick.

Bates and Sut­ton both had coach­ing roles at the club this sea­son — the for­mer lead­ing the re­serves and the lat­ter guid­ing the fourths to the fi­nals.

Out­go­ing Tocumwal pres­i­dent Mal­colm Hart said the younger play­ers in par­tic­u­lar will ben­e­fit from the new ap­point­ments.

The Bloods fin­ished 10th on the lad­der with just three wins this sea­son but were able to blood a num­ber of younger play­ers.

‘‘The club has a great ju­nior pro­gram and we’re start­ing to see the younger play­ers com­ing through,’’ Hart said.

‘‘Den­nis and David are keen to build on the cul­ture of the club and help find some con­sis­tency.

‘‘Tim (Gar­lick) de­cided to stand down from the role and we’ve asked him to play on next sea­son but he’s yet to make that call.’’

Sut­ton said he and his co-coach are ex­cited about the fu­ture and the younger play­ers com­ing through the ranks.

‘‘David and my­self are lo­cal busi­ness own­ers and we want to see Tocumwal Foot­ball and Net­ball Club have longevity; we both have kids in­volved with the club.

‘‘We want to pro­vide a great en­vi­ron­ment for the ju­nior kids and I think part of that process is step­ping up and tak­ing on the coach­ing role to pro­vide that cul­ture around the club we need go­ing for­ward.

‘‘A lot of the younger play­ers are pro­gress­ing with many play­ing se­niors last sea­son.

‘‘We want to con­tinue to build up our ju­nior stocks and help them un­der­stand the be­lief in the club and where we’re head­ing.’’

Bates said he’s look­ing for­ward to step­ping into the se­nior role and build­ing on this sea­son.

‘‘We want to see im­prove­ment from our se­nior side and we’ll be tak­ing a more ac­tive role in the off-sea­son try­ing to re­cruit play­ers.

‘‘Den­nis is keen to es­tab­lish a new cul­ture the play­ers can be proud of, which comes down to sim­ple things such as leav­ing the visi­tors’ chang­e­rooms tidy on away games, and I’m right be­ing him with that.’’

Sut­ton said he’ll be learn­ing un­der Bates which will hope­fully give the club a suc­ces­sion plan.

‘‘I’m ex­tremely con­fi­dent in David’s game plan, so my di­rec­tion is learn­ing that process and be­ing men­tored.

‘‘We have a longer term goal where I’ll take over the reins in a few years so I’ll still be learn­ing, com­ing from a ju­nior coach­ing role into se­nior coach­ing.

‘‘David has the abil­ity to set the game plan and my role is learn­ing and en­cour­ag­ing the play­ers to fol­low that.’’

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