Deniliquin Pastoral Times

Kyel takes the lead at Blighty

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New leadership has been installed at the Blighty Football Club in an effort to turn around a tough two years for the Redeyes in the senior ranks of the Picola & District Football League.

Longtime Redeye Kyel Bain has been given a vote of confidence by the club’s management team, and appointed as senior coach.

Bain has already shown his metal as coach of the Reserves, leading that side to premiershi­p victory in 2019.

The club hopes he can achieve similar succuss with his senior side charges in 2022.

Bain said the 2019 reserves premiershi­p ‘‘really brought the town together’’, which he wants to replicate.

His first challenge will be recruiting talent to the club to try and improve on this year’s results.

Blighty finished at the bottom of the Picola & District football ladder, with 13 losses from 13 games.

Bain already has his eye on some new and experience­d talent, particular­ly ‘‘big-bodied onballers and quick key forwards’’.

He’ll be recruiting from a pool of players from fresh-blooded seconds, to seasoned explayers.

‘‘If we bring up the middle early, then we can defend the sides when they come running,’’ said Bain, whose strategy was instrument­al to the Reserves’ 2019 win.

‘‘The tricky part is juggling the point system, but we’re certainly trying to get some locals back.

‘‘We’re all hoping we can see the season out next year and come back competitiv­e.

‘‘If we do it right then hopefully the scoreboard will take care of itself.’’

Bain is a mainstay at the Blighty Football Netball Club, having joined as a junior in the early 1990s.

He celebrated his 300th senior game with the Redeyes earlier this year.

‘‘I’ve spent most of my life with Blighty, except for one year which I spent at Toc,’’ he said.

The legacy player began playing junior football for Blighty in 1994 and started his seniors career in 2003.

He went on to coach the thirds from 2013 through to 2018, and the reserves in 2019.

Blighty executive committee member Leigh Culton, who played under Bain during the 2019 win, is credited with ‘‘talking him into the job’’.

‘‘He’s a great coach,’’ Culton said. ‘‘He knows how to get the best out of older players and motivate the younger ones.

‘‘He’s also got a pretty big football network, which will help out when we get to recruitmen­t.’’

According to Culton, Bain’s ability to motivate players was a ‘‘big part’’ of the 2019 win.

‘‘About a month out he told us ‘if we make finals, then we know we can win’. And that’s exactly what happened.’’

Brad Haines, a former premiershi­p winning player for Collingull­ie in the Riverina Football League, coached the senior Redeyes in 2020.

He was a replacemen­t for Daniel Kirchen, after he joined Tallygaroo­pna.

 ?? ?? Kyel Bain with his daughters (from senior club game with Blighty in July.
left) Savannah, Ava and Indi before his 300th
Kyel Bain with his daughters (from senior club game with Blighty in July. left) Savannah, Ava and Indi before his 300th

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