COACHING PANEL: Mick McKinnon and Dean Adams (reserves co-coaches), Ash Barker (senior coach), Mark Verberne (football manager), Daniel Chant (line coach), Tim Shearer (under-18.5s coach). Picture: Lachlan Bence.BALLARAT coach Ash Baker is excited at the prospect of climbing back up the ladder for season 2016.
The Swans have deliberately targeted a group of accomplished youngsters to add to their playing list for next year’s Ballarat Football League season.
Baker said the club was in a far better position than at the same time last year, when a number of players departed Alfredton Oval in the wake of the grand final defeat.
He said the coaching panel assembled also signalled an intent to return as one of the stronger clubs in the league.
“We are really pleased with where we are at as a club at the moment,” Baker said as he prepares for his fourth season as senior coach.
Among the key arrivals areJosh Benfield and Brad McDonald from Carngham-Linton, arguably two of the best players for the Central Highlands Football League side.
Also new next year will be Marcus Powling (Camperdown), Liam Cunningham(Carisbrook) and Andrew Toan (St Arnaud).
Those three players have all played interleague football or won club/league best player awards.
“We now believe we have a strong group of players within the age bracket of 17-23 with some very good olderplayers who are outside of this bracket who we already had on our list,” Baker said.
Baker also said the coaching panel that had been assembled held the club in its best possible position.
Mark Verberne joins the club in a newly developed role of director of football/football manager role.
Verberne brings a wealth of knowledge having played with North Ballarat in the VFL, Redan in the BFL and Altona in the Western Region FL.Former SMW Rovers and Springbank coach Joe Carmody is the new non-playing assistant coach,Dean Adams and Mick McKinnon will share the reserves role, Tim Shearer will coach the under-18.5s and former Clunes coach Jason Hill is steering the under-16.5s.
Swans president Darren Fraser said it was not yet known if Adam Sewell would remain at the club next year, although he is yet to put pen to paper to stay at Alfredton.
Last year’s director of coaching Shane Skontra is coachingMaryborough in the Bendigo league.
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