Shepparton News

Young Sheldon is ready to create a big bang at Moama

- By Josh Huntly

Moama has appointed its new senior football coach, announcing the experience­d Sam Sheldon as Luke Eldridge’s successor.

The 32-year old crossed over from Goulburn Valley League powerhouse Kyabram at the start of the season and has been a handy inclusion for Moama on and off the field.

A three-time Bombers premiershi­p player, Sheldon also has experience at the highest level, playing 43 AFL games for Brisbane.

The former Lion said the mix of a promising young side and a desire to return to coaching were key aspects in his decision to take the role.

“I came across this year to have a kick with Jake Kilmartin, who’s one of my best mates growing up,” Sheldon said.

“But I’ve enjoyed my time at the club and we have a good young group.

“It’s a good opportunit­y to have a go at coaching again.”

Moama finished the Murray Football League season in eighth spot with a record of five wins and eight losses, lifting itself from a wooden spoon finish in 2019 to finalist this year under the top-eight finals system.

After a COVID-19 disrupted season, Sheldon says his side will hopefully benefit from the continuity of an uninterrup­ted 2022.

“We were close this year with a few sides, but we couldn’t quite get over the line,” Sheldon said.

“A bit of continuity in training and playing will definitely help this group.

“If COVID can be held off and we’re allowed to play week in, week out, it will go a long way.”

Sheldon confirmed he would continue to play and announced Jye Warren as his assistant coach.

“We’re very similar in how we think about the game, so it should be good fun,” Sheldon said.

“He also has a really good relationsh­ip with the young guys, working in the schools up here.”

Moama president Matt Lake said he was excited to see what Sheldon and Warren would be able to achieve with the side.

“Sam was extremely keen to get back into coaching,” Lake said.

“He’s obviously got some experience playing at the highest level, but especially his experience over the last seven years at one of the best clubs around our local district, Kyabram.

“He can see what we’re trying to do; develop a good culture with a young list.”

Lake said the club’s new coach was already working to solidify next season’s playing list.

“His number one priority is to re-engage the current list and to get around the young boys,” Lake said.

“He knows that we’ve got some good players around that 20-24 age group and he really wants to lock them in.

“We also have some 17, 18 and 19-year-olds coming through, so he’s already been on the phone.”

With the off-season now under way, Moama’s list will begin to take shape in the weeks to come and Lake flagged the need to bolster its key position stocks as the focus on the recruiting front.

“(Sam) knows we’ve got some holes to fill in terms of big fellas, so that’s where our base will be when it comes to recruiting,” Lake said.

 ?? Picture: Steve Huntley ?? The men: Sam Sheldon and Jhy Warren will lead Moama Football Club next year.
Picture: Steve Huntley The men: Sam Sheldon and Jhy Warren will lead Moama Football Club next year.

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