Nor­man a co-coach at Tigers

Nor­man, Ralph named co-coaches as Glen­rowan con­firms coach­ing panel

Wangaratta Chronicle - - Front Page - BY JEREMY WIL­SON jwil­son@ne­me­

PRE­DIC­TIONS sug­gest­ing Glen­rowan would slide fur­ther down the lad­der in 2019 ap­pear well off the mark with sev­eral changes made at the Kelly Tigers ear­lier this week.

Fol­low­ing the club’s an­nual gen­eral meet­ing on Mon­day night, Ja­son McPhail has re­turned as pres­i­dent while a new foot­ball coach­ing panel has been un­veiled.

Star mid­fielder Karl Nor­man and young gun Bryce Ralph will be the Kelly Tigers’ new co-coaches, re­plac­ing Joe Be­dendo and Nigel Robin­son.

But while ini­tial talks were that Robin­son wouldn’t re­turn, McPhail con­firmed the four-time premier­ship coach would act as as­sis­tant coach and help men­tor Ralph.

Creative util­ity Ni­cholas Lawrence has also been named as­sis­tant coach and will make the weekly trek back from Mel­bourne.

Nor­man, a mem­ber of the Tigers’ four-peat to go with mul­ti­ple club best and fairests and three Baker Medal run­ner-up fin­ishes, ad­mit­ted re­tire­ment had en­tered his mind but he ad­mit­ted coach­ing was ex­cit­ing.

“I’m sort of a bit ner­vous at the mo­ment,” he said.

“I’m not the best pub­lic speaker or in front of a group but a fair few of the boys were keen to stick around.

“I thought blokes like ‘Danky’ (Matt Robin­son) and Nigel needed a rest so I guess I thought why not.

“I’ve got noth­ing to lose and ev­ery­thing to gain I guess, per­son­ally as well, for my own de­vel­op­ment.

“Even when I was as­sis­tant coach I was more just be­hind the scenes as op­posed to this role.”

While Nor­man needs no in­tro­duc­tion, Ralph is al­most a left field choice as co-coach given he has only been at the club for three years and is still just 21 years of age.

How­ever, Nor­man said his now co-coach would be a good choice for the Tigers and was keen to help Ralph grow in his new role.

“I reckon Ral­phy was a re­ally good choice,” he said.

“He was prob­a­bly the only bloke who was at train­ing week in week out all year.

“He is young, he is very re­spected within the group and with Nige stay­ing on as as­sis­tant coach I think it will be great for his per­sonal de­vel­op­ment.”

Ralph joined the club af­ter play­ing thirds with the Wan­garatta Rovers and quickly es­tab­lished him­self as an im­por­tant part of the team, play­ing in both the 2016 and 2017 pre­mier­ships.

Ca­pa­ble of play­ing through the mid­dle or down back, Ralph said he was keen to take his game to an­other level af­ter ac­cept­ing the co-coach­ing role.

He ad­mit­ted the sup­port of the cur­rent group was one of the main rea­sons he de­cided to join with Nor­man in the coach­ing role.

“It should be ex­cit­ing to coach with Normo with his foot­ball brain,” he said.

“It’ll be a new ex­pe­ri­ence but I should be able to han­dle it.

“It was just a bit of en­cour­age­ment from the boys.

“It was a bit nerve rack­ing to hear at the start but it should be a good ex­pe­ri­ence.

“A lot of boys are keen to get back into it as well which is good.”

Karl Nor­man

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