Shepparton News

JOHNNY BE GOOD

TIGERS BOSS BACK IN CHARGE AS HE PREPARES TO LEAD HIS CUBS ON HUNT FOR GRAND FINAL BRUNSKILL

- By LIAM NASH

After reveling in a campaign flooded with promise Cobram Football Club is sticking fat with its winning formula by reappointi­ng coach John Brunskill for next year.

The Brunskill-supervised Tigers finished second in this year’s abbreviate­d Murray Football League season, losing twice to trail Jordan Souter’s unbeaten Tongala by eight points before proceeding­s were halted ahead of finals.

And after teetering on the cusp of eminence, it’s easy to see why the Cobram mentor is eyeing up another charge at the flag next year.

“We were a bit disappoint­ed with the way the season finished, not only for us, but for everybody,” Brunskill said.

“Especially after playing 13 games, everyone was keen to find out where they were at.

“Next year will be about plugging away the way we’ve been going.”

He’s no alchemist, yet Brunskill managed to find the right balance within his squad in a complicate­d season this year.

At a median age of 20.3 years old on the Cobram roster — a large portion of players being homegrown talent — made for some whiz-bang watching from the stands.

“I think we found the balance pretty well and the majority were local kids — our ruckman was from Melbourne and that was about it,” Brunskill said.

“There were six thirds kids who played seniors this year and if the year hadn’t have panned out the way it did we would’ve played 8-10.

“There’s also 14 top-age kids to come out of the thirds next year and half of them have played senior footy already.”

Brunskill’s teenage brigade, complete with names such as Luca Allen, Lachlan Adams and Izac Artavilla perfectly complement the more experience­d heads of Darcy McCormack, Adam De Cicco and co.

Which helps the Cobram coach’s cause immensely.

The lack of surety regarding the football climate going forward due to COVID-19 means many more youngsters are likely get the tap next season Brunskill said.

“The way footy is going at the moment, there is no money around whatsoever, but we do feel we’re in a pretty good position with our locals,” he said.

“We’ve had some really good youngsters over time, our thirds and fourths have played in grand finals and won and lost those.

“We had 16-year-olds starting in our middle for us this season — they don’t have to hide; we can throw them in the deep end straightaw­ay.”

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