Herbert keen to get Kats purring
Katandra did not get the cream this season, which is precisely why current coach Trent Herbert is curious to see what he can deliver next year as mentor.
Since his appointment in the leadup to the 2020 Picola District Football League season, Herbert is yet to experience a full year in charge without hindrance.
This year had the Kats flourish in early stages, winning five of their first seven games before slumping to ninth at the time of the campaign’s abrupt end due to COVID-19.
And in the 24-year-old’s eyes, that means there is unfinished business to attend to.
“At first I was a bit hesitant to do it at a young age, but after two years of being interrupted, I thought I had to go around again and give it a decent crack,” Herbert said.
“Hopefully we can have a full season without interruption, play finals and go from there.
Switching factions after years with Mooroopna in the Goulburn Valley League, the challenge of coaching was enough to coax Herbert to the Kattery.
However, this year’s season was personally marred for Herbert after he failed to escape the hauntings of an ACL reconstruction.
“It was an interesting year; I was injured for 90 per cent of it,” he said.
“I had ankle surgery after round three and missed the majority of the season which was unfortunate.
“Coaching from the sidelines, I developed a little bit, but I also would’ve liked to be playing more — I’m looking forward to doing that in 2022.”
Though viewing from the paint may have proved frustrating, it provided Herbert a much-needed grasp on what needs fixing at Katandra.
He identified the Kats’ youthful presence as beneficial, though he couldn’t help but feel a few experienced heads would not go amiss within the ranks.
“We’re a young side, so I’ll be out to go out and get a few more mature bodies to help out in that aspect,” he said.
“(It will help having) those experienced blokes, knowing when to stand up a bit more and actually put the foot forward.
“Most of our boys have committed again which is good, we’re just looking at trying to get a few more mature blokes to help take that next step.”
That next step, as Herbert mapped out, means finals footy.
The Kats were plagued with injury over the past months, but with an inf lux of younger bodies demonstrating their capabilities, Herbert is locking a post-season appearance within his sights for next year.
“I reckon we’ll be able to make finals — we had a very unlucky season where six of our best players went out injured throughout the year,” he said.
“We made do with what we had; it was a good opportunity for our younger guys to stand up.
“We had a few make their debut throughout the year and a few thirds kids get the opportunity as well and its only going to better the club in the years going forward.”