HAVING reinvigorated the Bendigo Football League inter-league team, Jeff Brennan is looking forward to the new challenge of leading Maryborough back into finals contention.
Brennan is the new coach of Maryborough, committing to the Magpies for at least the next two years.
Brennan has coached the BFL’s inter-league team for the past four years, leading a revival of renewed enthusiasm from the players for representative football, but is excited at the chance to get back involved at club level with the Magpies.
Maryborough has been starved of success since winning its last senior premiership in 1999.
Since then the Magpies have played finals just five times, and this year under co-coaches Matt Aston and Joel Malone finished eighth, with a 5-13 record.
However, Brennan believes the club’s list has plenty of upside.
“I think Maryborough is a terrific fit, and I’m really looking forward to next year because I think they have a really good home-grown list that has plenty of upside for development,” Brennan said yesterday.
“I think we can get a lot out of the group. The thing I really like about the club is there is a rough edge around their playing group.
“They are always tough to play against, so we’ve just got to work hard on getting them fit.
“There’s a lot of 21 to 23-year-olds there to work with, but it just comes down to getting them fit over the summer and putting things in place that will make us a better side.”
Maryborough is the third BFL club Brennan has coached.
He previously coached South Bendigo in 1998-99, before having a one-year stint at Golden Square in 2007.
“While the inter-league involvement has been great over the past four years, I’ve missed the club coaching,” Brennan said.
I’ve missed the day-to-day grind of coaching football and everything that goes with that, so it’s fantastic to have that opportunity again at Maryborough, which is a club I’ve always respected.”
Brennan said he could not have been more impressed with the Magpies during his discussions with the club.
“The club has been nothing short of fantastic and I’ve been very impressed with the people who are running the club,” Brennan said.
“The club is in a terrific position off the field, they have a really good group of home-grown youngsters with a lot of improvement in them... if you look at the club as a whole, it’s in a really good position to move forward and be a very strong club in the BFL.”
As well as his appointment at Maryborough, Brennan will stay on as BFL inter-league coach for next year’s keenly-anticipated game against fierce rivals Ballarat.
“The great thing about inter-league is it just hasn’t been me coaching,” Brennan said.
“We’ve had myself, Derrick Filo, Shawn McCormick and Simon Jorgensen as a team.
“As far as I’m concerned, we’ve got a job to do collectively and that’s to beat Ballarat, but that’s not going to have any effect on myself at club level.
“I’m professional enough with the way I coach, and when it’s inter-league time, inter-league will be my priority, but when it’s club time at Maryborough, that will be my focus.”
Brennan has previously coached premierships with Red Cliffs in 2000 and Swan Hill in 2005.
Brennan will meet the Magpies players for the first time at 6pm tomorrow night at Princes Park.
With Brennan now appointed at Maryborough, it leaves only four-time defending premiers Golden Square without a coach for 2013.
“The opportunity to coach Maryborough was just too good to knock back.