NEW Lockington-Bamawm United assistant coach Bart Phillips has defended his decision to join the Cats from Echuca, saying it is a step forward in his coaching career.
Phillips is the early pick of new coach Kahl Oliver’s batch of recruits, his brother Tyler and Lachie Collins also committed to the side for 2018.
The new assistant coach was thrilled to step up and try his hand coaching with seniors. ‘‘It’s exciting to head to a club and try and develop some coaching with someone who’s had quite a bit of success coaching, with Ollie (LBU coach Kahl Oliver) obviously winning the four flags with LBU,’’ Phillips said.
‘‘It’s an area I’ve got a familiarity with growing up just down the road at Bamawm Extension, so I’ve been around the club since I was a little kid.’’
Phillips said his experience coaching with Echuca’s under 18s fed his drive to move up the ranks.
‘‘Initially I didn’t think I’d want anything to do with (coaching), and just sort of rock up and play footy,’’ he said.
‘‘But once Paul Clarke and Rory Priddle got me involved with the 18s a couple of years ago and Flip Evans got me involved with some under 14s stuff that changed.
‘‘I think it ties in really well with my work as a teacher, rather than just instructing the kids, trying to teach them about footy, and now the opportunity has come up to expand that role to a senior capacity.’’
A young LBU side won four games this season but came on as the season progressed, Phillips not quite sure how that experience would shape up for the coming season with the injection of talent.
‘‘It’s always going to be hard because there’s a lot of player movement at the other clubs,’’ he said.
‘‘Peter Gibbs has done a good job to build a base, and it’s just trying to improve on that base.
‘‘Hopefully we can bring in those six or seven players on top of a good base that’s just out of finals and start to bridge the gap to those top teams.
‘‘It’s a case of waiting to see what everyone else is doing, and too see what improvement you can get out of the group.’’