Collins keen to emulate father as Sandhurst coach

ANDREW Collins has already followed in the footsteps of his father, David, by coaching two premierships at Bridgewater.

Andrew Collins

Andrew Collins

And now Collins will be hoping he can emulate his father’s deeds at Sandhurst also after his appointment as the Dragons’ new coach.

Collins has taken over as Sandhurst coach following Wayne Primmer’s two years at the helm, which included leading the Dragons to the 2016 premiership.

Before Primmer last year the most recent premiership coach of the Dragons had been David Collins in 2004.

“I certainly remember how special it was for the family that year and the great relationships Dad formed with a lot of those premiership players that he coached, so that will be the goal to try to emulate that,” Collins said this week.

“But that’s obviously the goal of every coach.

“I believe we’ve got a group that can bounce back and do it again with some natural improvement that will come with some hard work and adding some new players to our side.”

Having previously got his first taste of senior football at the Dragons as a teenager before going on to play 36 AFL games with Richmond (25) and Carlton (11), Collins returned to Sandhurst this year.

I believe we’ve got a group that can bounce back and do it again

Andrew Collins

After winning last year’s premiership and starting 2017 as the warm favourites to go back-to-back, the Dragons were knocked out in the first semi-final by Golden Square, ending a year that was severely hampered by injury to key players.

Collins previously coached Bridgewater to premierships in 2014 and 2015 during a two-year stint in which he had a 35-1 record while leading the Mean Machine.

“It’s such a taxing job these days if you give it the effort it deserves and I certainly feel refreshed,” Collins said.

“You’ve got to be keen to want to do it because it takes up so much energy and work and I’m really looking forward to getting back into it again with Sandhurst.”

While the season ended for Sandhurst’s senior side a fortnight ago, the Dragons have their under-18 team playing in Saturday’s grand final against Strathfieldsaye.

“I’m really looking forward to having a good look at that game because there’s certainly some great talent in the side,” Collins said.

“Oscar Perez has been kicking a lot of goals, Darby Graham won the league medal as an up-and-coming ruckman and we’d expect a lot of those young players will be really hungry to get into pre-season and try to become good senior players.”