ECHUCA WANTS TO CATCH FI­NALS FEVER

The Riverine Herald - - LOCAL CLASSIES - By An­drew John­ston

EV­ERY side at the Echuca Foot­ball Net­ball Club was a fi­nal­ist in 2018. And the club hopes that is only the be­gin­ning. Echuca’s man­age­ment team have fi­nalised their coach­ing ap­point­ments for the 2019 sea­son, as the club looks to push deeper into the fi­nals this sea­son.

Walker and Mad­dox had al­ready been an­nounced as re­turn­ing to run the se­nior side, and Walker will still be part of the play­ing group.

He and Mad­dox will be joined by play­ing as­sis­tant coaches Ruory Kirkby and Kane Mor­ris. Kirkby will re­turn to the field after miss­ing 2018 with a se­ri­ous knee in­jury.

Un­der 18 premier­ship coach Leo Te­nace will re­turn to the role, hop­ing to take his group back to the top of the moun­tain again.

Troy Mur­phy will take the reins of the club’s de­vel­op­ment squad.

Mad­dox said the club’s early ex­pec­ta­tions were sim­ply to be in a com­pet­i­tive po­si­tion come fi­nals.

‘‘We are hop­ing to fin­ish as high up the lad­der as we can,’’ he said.

‘‘For all of us 2018 was a ground break­ing year after many sea­sons of miss­ing fi­nals, we showed we were a side who could hang with Kyabram and Shep­par­ton and those sides, so this sea­son it will be about con­tin­u­ing to get bet­ter and play­ing fi­nals.’’

Fel­low co-coach An­drew Walker wants to see the town in­volved in the club’s pre-sea­son.

‘‘We are start­ing our pre-sea­son train­ing on De­cem­ber 7 at 7pm, and we want to see a crowd for our play­ers,’’ he said.

‘‘It would be great to have Echuca sup­port­ers come out and get in­volved in our team as we pre­pare for the sea­son. If peo­ple want to come out and have a run with us or train, we’re on board.

‘‘We want this foot­ball club to be open to our com­mu­nity, so ev­ery­one is wel­come to come down to Vic Park and be a part of our foot­ball club.’’

While the group starts their sea­son of­fi­cially on that Fri­day night, the play­ers are al­ready in prepa­ra­tion.

‘‘We have them on in­di­vid­ual pro­grams at the mo­ment, so they don’t have to be at the club but are still meet­ing the stan­dards we ex­pect of the club.’’

Luke He­mer

THE A TEAM: Echuca Foot­ball Club coaches for 2019 are, from left, Troy Mur­phy, Kane Mor­ris, Si­mon Mad­dox, An­drew Walker and Leo Te­nace. Photo:

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