Norman a co-coach at Tigers
Norman, Ralph named co-coaches as Glenrowan confirms coaching panel
PREDICTIONS suggesting Glenrowan would slide further down the ladder in 2019 appear well off the mark with several changes made at the Kelly Tigers earlier this week.
Following the club’s annual general meeting on Monday night, Jason McPhail has returned as president while a new football coaching panel has been unveiled.
Star midfielder Karl Norman and young gun Bryce Ralph will be the Kelly Tigers’ new co-coaches, replacing Joe Bedendo and Nigel Robinson.
But while initial talks were that Robinson wouldn’t return, McPhail confirmed the four-time premiership coach would act as assistant coach and help mentor Ralph.
Creative utility Nicholas Lawrence has also been named assistant coach and will make the weekly trek back from Melbourne.
Norman, a member of the Tigers’ four-peat to go with multiple club best and fairests and three Baker Medal runner-up finishes, admitted retirement had entered his mind but he admitted coaching was exciting.
“I’m sort of a bit nervous at the moment,” he said.
“I’m not the best public speaker or in front of a group but a fair few of the boys were keen to stick around.
“I thought blokes like ‘Danky’ (Matt Robinson) and Nigel needed a rest so I guess I thought why not.
“I’ve got nothing to lose and everything to gain I guess, personally as well, for my own development.
“Even when I was assistant coach I was more just behind the scenes as opposed to this role.”
While Norman needs no introduction, Ralph is almost a left field choice as co-coach given he has only been at the club for three years and is still just 21 years of age.
However, Norman said his now co-coach would be a good choice for the Tigers and was keen to help Ralph grow in his new role.
“I reckon Ralphy was a really good choice,” he said.
“He was probably the only bloke who was at training week in week out all year.
“He is young, he is very respected within the group and with Nige staying on as assistant coach I think it will be great for his personal development.”
Ralph joined the club after playing thirds with the Wangaratta Rovers and quickly established himself as an important part of the team, playing in both the 2016 and 2017 premierships.
Capable of playing through the middle or down back, Ralph said he was keen to take his game to another level after accepting the co-coaching role.
He admitted the support of the current group was one of the main reasons he decided to join with Norman in the coaching role.
“It should be exciting to coach with Normo with his football brain,” he said.
“It’ll be a new experience but I should be able to handle it.
“It was just a bit of encouragement from the boys.
“It was a bit nerve racking to hear at the start but it should be a good experience.
“A lot of boys are keen to get back into it as well which is good.”