Eagles unveil Mitrovic as new coach

Joel Peterson | Bendigo Weekly | 20-Oct-2017

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Maiden Gully YCW coach Wayne Mitrovic and president Chris Garlick. Photo: Andrew Perryman
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NEW Maiden Gully YCW Eagles coach Wayne Mitrovic says the opportunity to be involved in building the club’s identity was a key factor in luring him to the role.

The former Sandhurst captain has previously coached Macorna and been a part of a flag at Wycheproof before returning to the Dragons for the 2017 season.

Mitrovic has also previously coached the Golden Rivers league’s representative squad in a decorated career in the region.

He said he was looking forward to returning to the coaching ranks with a side that he thinks showed promise last year.

“I think some people would probably look at it and say YCW finished second last, but they lost a lot of close games and have a young side,” he said.

“The team has a lot of potential which fits in with what the club is doing with the facility out here and trying to involve the community.”

While the Eagles are hoping to make a mark, they aren’t in a position where splashing the cash and buying a host of new players is the right move – in an environment with a salary cap and points system most clubs join them in that boat.

Mitrovic also knows that the group is one that’s developing and needs both time to grow and some experience around it.

“It was such a young group last year that you do need to bring in some experience,” he said.

“But when you look at the games from the start and the end of the year after a lot of injuries hurt in the middle, most of the results weren’t too bad at all.”

Importantly, two of its recruits are having somewhat of a homecoming, albeit to new surrounds at Marist College.

Kangaroo Flat pair Hamish McCartney and Clinton Angove are former Maiden Gully juniors that had to look elsewhere after under-13s as Maiden Gully had no teams in higher grades.

They come back with senior experience, McCartney playing regularly in the past two years for Kangaroo Flat while Angove has played seniors in both the Loddon Valley and Bendigo leagues.

One thing the Eagles definitely needed was a key forward target and they’ve bolstered a position of need there, too.

Thomas Jehl and a Jason Robinson will be two key targets inside the 50-metre arc.

“Accountability is probably the number one thing I look for, I get so frustrated seeing loose men wandering around the place,” he said.

“But quick ball movement is so important, you only have to look at the best sides in most leagues and that’s a big reason why they’re successful.

“The boys were saying they kept the inside-50 stats last year and they beat a lot of teams in that statistic, so getting some structure going up forward and making sure everyone is making the right decisions will be important.”

Off-field things are grow at Maiden Gully, with fencing around the new ground being installed and new lights going in for both football and netball.

President Chris Garlick said the club hoped to host night games next season and make them community events, as the club looks to build in its second year in the suburb.

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