Like fa­ther, like son

Whitsunday Times - - WHITSUNDAY SEA EAGLES READY FOR 2015 -

A YEAR af­ter his fa­ther took the helm, Matthew Laskey has been named play­ing coach for the Whit­sun­day Sea Ea­gles in 2015.

Matthew will take the post from Brett, who was forced to re­turn to Tas­ma­nia due to per­sonal rea­sons half­way through the 2014 Mackay AFL sea­son.

The Sea Ea­gles looked ex­ter­nally for a coach but were un­able to se­cure a suit­able can­di­date due to a lack of work in the re­gion, but for­tu­nately there was one will­ing right be­neath their nose.

Matthew, who joined the club in 2012, un­know­ingly spent the 2014 sea­son groom­ing him­self for the role, al­beit with the un­der-15s.

“It was good fun last year do­ing un­der-15s. Hope­fully I taught the young fel­las a thing or two but the se­nior role will be some­thing com­pletely dif­fer­ent,” he said.

“It will be a good learn­ing curve for me and I’d like to think I’ve played enough high level footy to make the move.”

The mid­fielder cer­tainly has runs on the board as a player, hav­ing spent time in the Tas­ma­nian State League with the North Launce­s­ton Foot­ball Club and in the North­ern Tas­ma­nian Foot­ball As­so­ci­a­tion with Uni­ver­sity/Mow­bray. The two years with the Bombers were par­tic­u­larly fruit­ful, learn­ing from for­mer AFL player Paul Atkins.

Since then he has traded timid Tas­ma­nian weather for the warm Whit­sun­days, where has been cap­tain for the past two years and also col­lected back-to-back best and fairests in 2012-13.

Per­son­ally his his­tory is im­pres­sive but it’s the fu­ture with the Sea Ea­gles he’s look­ing for­ward to.

“At the end of last year we needed to pick up five or 10 play­ers and we’ve done that, and they’re qual­ity too,” he said.

“We’ve still got a bit to do fit­ness wise but this year we’re go­ing to con­cen­trate on struc­tured foot­ball like the Hawks, Mo­ran­bah and Swans.

“Last year we weren’t too far off. We lost to Mo­ran­bah by nine points and we were un­lucky that day and they went on to win the grand fi­nal, so we’ve proven we can get to the next level but this year we’re go­ing to con­cen­trate on fin­ish­ing games off.”

Matthew will be helped by the pres­ence of club life mem­ber and as­sis­tant coach John Ryan, who stood-in for Brett last sea­son.

“Hope­fully he will teach me the ropes along the way,” Matthew said.

RUNS IN THE FAM­ILY: Matthew Laskey will be the play­ing coach of the Whit­sun­day Sea Ea­gles in 2015, fol­low­ing on from his fa­ther Brett who coached the club in 2014.

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