Kyabram Free Press

Rushworth appoints new senior football coach

- By Zac Standish

Rushworth has turned to Bendigo Football Netball League to find its new senior coach, with hard-nosed midfielder Damian Wust appointed to the role for the next two seasons.

Wust comes to the Tigers after a distinguis­hed career in the BFNL, playing 152 games in stints with Eaglehawk and Kangaroo Flat.

Now hoping to continue his developmen­t as a coach, the 29-yearold will be tasked with breaking Rushworth’s nine-year finals drought and helping nurture its list of talented young players.

Wust said he was excited to be making the move to the Kyabram District League and couldn't wait to get started.

“I am stoked to be announced as the new coach of Rushworth, being able to work with a young list and trying to get them back up to finals is something that really excites me,” Wust said.

“If we can add a few players around our young talent and bolster our depth that will be great and allow us to really focus on that finals berth — we know it’s not going to be easy, but we just need to build that platform and I just can’t wait to get cracking with the boys.”

In what will be his first senior coaching role, he said the situation at Rushworth was extremely appealing to him for a number of reasons.

“Coaching has always been an aspiration of mine and when Rushworth approached me I saw it as a good opportunit­y to put my toe in the water and get a bit of a taste of what coaching is all about,” he said.

“I saw the list and think there is great potential to work with, so I thought there was nowhere better for me to start my journey and feel this is a great step for me.”

Officially taking the role early last week, he said he had been quick to make contact with the group and was excited by its attitude.

“I have got through nearly all the playing list, after I was announced as coach I rang each of them the next day and just introduced myself — pretty much all the boys I was keen to bring back have recommitte­d as well, which is exciting,” he said.

“Everyone sounded super keen and just wanted to see who was coaching and what the future holds for both themselves and the club as a whole — getting that winning culture back at Rushworth is what really drives me and I was impressed with what I heard out of the boys.”

After winning three games and finishing 12th on the ladder this season, Wust said there were a number of key areas he would be looking to focus on throughout the pre-season as he hopes to breathe new life into the club.

“It is about bringing a really solid fitness base to the playing group and getting them all conditione­d so they can run out games and build that continuity off the field,” he said.

“Throughout the pre-season I just want to drive that hunger and passion for footy in terms of building that winning culture — nothing comes easy and we will have to put the hard yards in as we begin the path to improvemen­t.”

As for his hopes for next season, Wust said he didn’t want to put any limitation­s on what the group could achieve.

“Anything is possible I believe,” he said.

“It comes down to whether you want to do the work and put in the hard yards to achieve success — our main point of focus is we are coming from a long way back, but we just need to get those early wins on the board and get that confidence up.”

 ?? ?? Welcome to Tigerland: Damian Wust.
Rushworth president Ian Harris welcomes new coach
Welcome to Tigerland: Damian Wust. Rushworth president Ian Harris welcomes new coach

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