Club has ‘fire in belly’

Great Southern Herald - - Sport - Wan­der­ers Tim Fitzger­ald will be a sig­nif­i­cant loss to the club. Tim Ed­munds Inset: New Wan­der­ers coach Ryan Flugge.

Newly ap­pointed Katan­ning Wan­der­ers league coach Ryan Flugge be­lieves there will be no is­sue mo­ti­vat­ing his play­ers aim­ing to bounce back next year from the heart­break of grand fi­nal de­feat.

Club stal­wart Flugge was an­nounced as the club’s new league coach late last week, re­plac­ing Mark Pin­ney at the helm.

Three months on from Wan­der­ers’ heart­break­ing eight­point grand fi­nal de­feat to a barn­storm­ing Bod­ding­ton re­garded as one of the great­est up­sets in coun­try foot­ball his­tory, Flugge said the club had “plenty of fire in the belly”.

But the Wan­der­ers will have to con­tend with some sig­nif­i­cant player losses, most notably last sea­son’s Leo Gra­ham medal­list and for­mer Hawthorn rookie Kade Ste­wart, who will re­turn to South Fre­man­tle in the WAFL.

Cap­tain Tim Fitzger­ald has re­turned to Vic­to­ria leav­ing a gi­ant hole in the Wan­der­ers side.

Flugge, a born and bred Katan­ning lo­cal, has played more than 200 club games and has held var­i­ous club po­si­tions, in­clud­ing colts coach and com­mit­tee mem­ber, said both play­ers leave the club with well wishes.

“You can’t re­place a Leo Gra­ham medal­list in Kade but we wish him good luck in re­turn­ing to the WAFL and hope­fully he gets re­drafted,” he said.

“Tim has been here for 10 years and has been an in­te­gral part of our club so he will also be a mas­sive loss.”

Flugge said de­spite the player losses, fi­nals were still very much on the club’s agenda with lo­cal youth likely to be in­jected into the squad.

“There is still a fair bit of mo­ti­va­tion in the play­ers, the grand fi­nal loss cer­tainly puts a bit of fire in the belly,” he said. “We still have the cal­i­bre of play­ers and fi­nals is ev­ery club’s goal.”

In an­nounc­ing Flugge’s ap­point­ment, the club said they were ex­cited by the vi­sion of their new coach.

“Ryan has a clear di­rec­tion in his new role and is ready to en­cour­age our strong base of youth into se­nior foot­ball and ul­ti­mately win a flag,” the state­ment read.

Pre-sea­son train­ing is ex­pected to start in Fe­bru­ary.

Pic­ture: Cait­lyn Fitzger­ald.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.