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New direction for Saints in 2022

BRANXHOLME-WALLACEDALE Football Netball Club is set for a new direction with many new faces in new roles for the 2022 South West District Football Netball League season.

Damian Hogan takes over from Rob Harman as president, while a handful of coaches will also take on new roles for next season, including A grade netball and senior football.
Hogan has steadily increased his involvement in the club in recent years and said it was the right time to take on the new role.
“To be honest it is something I have thought about for the past three years, I have been pretty active in the past two years on committee and was senior vice-president last year,” he said.
“I just want to continue what the committee has put in place, but we also have to change with the times as a club as well.
“It is good to see some young people to step up and have a crack and that is something I will be focusing on.”
The club’s executive committee also has some new faces and as the clubs and league start to plan for the 2022 season, the idea of a relatively normal season provided the right time for the club to embrace new ideas.
Hogan said he expects to be in the role for a substantial period, to allow for stability, but also to help achieve the longer-term ideas.
“It is up to the person who takes on the role, my goal is to at least do three years, the first year is just finding my feet then going from there,” he said.
“I have been heavily involved in the football department for the past six or seven years, we have had that bit of a break and with Robert Harman being president, I have spoken to him and I know what I am in for.
“If you have too many changes too often, it can unsettle the club.”
Georgia Muldoon is set to take the reins of the club’s A grade team after crossing over from Harrow-Balmoral and playing in the top grade this season.
It will be her first season in an A grade coaching role but was excited about the chance to influence the team and the club and set a plan to achieve better results.
“I think I have always had a passion and enjoyed doing it,” she said.
“Last year being my first year at Branxholme-Wallacedale, and COVID having a big impact, I think moving to a different club and seeing where they are at, I have a passion to see them improve.
“By no means does this appointment mean I am the best coach ever, but I just want to introduce a bit more structure and a brand of netball to the club.
“It is quite clear and well known that we have struggled for a few years, so I think the club is in a good position to take those steps forward and by no means will it happen over one season, but it is just taking those steps and building for the long term.”
Coming from a successful Southern Kangaroos set-up within the Horsham and District Football Netball League, Muldoon said the culture was important and looked forward to building success with the current group of players, but hoped for some new blood in the mix also.
“Harrow-Balmoral is a really successful club across both netball and football and I think the main thing is the culture there, not only is it a style they play which is really attractive, but the culture they have,” she said.
“If we can be there in terms of the moral sense and create the culture where people want to be, then it filters from the top down.
“I think leadership is really important and that is something I will be focusing on.
“I think in terms of the first step being keep all our players and locals and welcome any new players that wish to come, we are creating a bit of a succession plan.
“I think it is always really important to look after the local girls, in the position we are in and the standard we want to meet, we are going to look at recruiting, and hoping to introduce a few new faces into the mix which is always really important as well to freshen things up.
“Balance is always really important, in terms of our current netball situation, I think there is that sort of determination to want to improve and I think there is a lot of hard work to do to get to that position.”
After coaching juniors this year, it will be a step up to take on the reins of the top grade, and will go through the selection process next year to settle on the best possible squad.
“I hope to be a playing-coach next year, but there is a selection process in place, so I don’t want to speak out of turn,” Muldoon said.
“(Overall) I am really excited, it is not just being the A grade coach, but there is a massive emphasis on the team environment throughout the club and I can’t wait to get started.”
On the football side of things, it is a familiar face who will take on the senior coaching role with Leigh Ewing set to guide the team through the 2022 campaign.
The versatile key position player takes over from Tim Cogger, who has taken up a coaching role at the Hamilton Kangaroos for next year.
Ewing hopes to juggle playing and coaching responsibilities and said he was taking a long-term approach to the role.
“It is going to be tough, obviously we have lost a few players, but if I can leave the club in a better place, then that will be my job done,” he said.
“It is obviously going to be a learning curve for me, I have been captain, helped coach the reserves a couple of years ago.
“They came to me and I was a bit hesitant at the start, but they put my mind at ease and I was pretty chuffed to be asked.”
The 39-year-old is embracing the new challenge to create a sustainable culture of success.
“It is trying to get that next generation of kids to stay around and build the club up,” he said.
“We are not going in to just fill gaps, we will be having a real crack next year.
“I think once we are back and everything returns to normal, I think everyone will be pretty excited to get back into it.”
The club is planning to start pre-season early next month with a couple of sessions before Christmas.
The Saints also announced Bryce Baldwin as reserves coach for 2022.

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