Like father, like son
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.