BFNL premiers Strathfieldsaye has ended weeks of speculation with the announcement of Troy Coates as the Storm’s new senior coach.
The former Kerang premiership coach and player replaces Darryl Wilson, who led the Storm to all three of its BFNL premierships.
Coates brings a wealth of coaching experience having coached the Central Murray league Blues to four premierships, as well as coaching Northern Territory Football League Premier League side Nightcliff.
He is no stranger to the BFNL having previously played with Eaglehawk.
This year, Coates also worked with the Bendigo Pioneers under-15’s academy in a player development and coaching role.
Strathfieldsaye president Mick Farrell said with Wilson’s decision not to coach on in 2018 made weeks before the Storm’s stunning grand final triumph against Eaglehawk, the club had been well placed to look for a suitable replacement.
“It was perfect timing for us with Troy looking to get back into coaching in the Bendigo area,” he said.
“Testament to Darryl’s commitment to the club, he was the first person to meet with Troy to discuss the possibility of him stepping into the role at the end of Darryl’s tenure and it went from there.
“We’ve been very impressed by what we have seen of Troy already.
“He has a remarkable footy brain, great enthusiasm and is very committed.
“He is also eager to work with our younger players to assist their development and help get the most out of themselves in a football sense, which is important to us.”
Coates’ task has been made easier with the Storm having already re-signed a great number of their players.
They include 2017 co-captains Shannon Geary and Jayden Donaldson, who have both stepped down, but will continue to play off and on-field leadership roles in helping develop the Storm’s young list.
Kallen Geary will assume the role of captain, with 2017 league best and fairest Lachlan Sharp, Sam Heavyside and Jake Moorehead as vice-captains.
Dale Cameron will again coach the reserves and Bart Leahy the under-18s, after both led their sides to premierships this season.
Meanwhile, star forward Sharp capped a stellar season by winning the Storm’s best and fairest.
The 2017 Michelsen medallist, who also won the Ron Best Medal as the league’s leading goal kicker and was voted best afield in the grand final win, claimed the award ahead of Kallen Geary.
Claudia Powell captured the top netball honour as A-grade best and fairest, ahead of dual Betty Thompson medallist Brianna Dalrymple-Monro.
The Tracy Wilson Memorial Best Club Person Award was won by Grant MacDonald.
Full award winners:
Football: Senior – best and fairest: Lachlan Sharp; runner-up: Kallen Geary.
Reserves – best and fairest: Zebb Murrell; runner-up Connor Aldous.
Under-18 – best and fairest: Hunter Lawrence; runner-up: Lachlan Gill.
Netball: A-grade – best and fairest: Claudia Powell; runner-up: Brianna Dalrymple-Monro.
A-reserve – best and fairest: Sarah Heard; runner-up: Olivia Collicoat.
B-grade – best and fairest: Jackie Geary; runner-up: Jodie Bouwmeester.
B-reserve: best and fairest: Nikita O’Brien; runner-up: Lucy Parsons.
17-and-under – best and fairest: Ellie Wilson; runner-up: Paige Ryan.
Tracy Wilson Memorial Best Clubperson Award: Grant MacDonald.
100-games netball: Chelsea Crapper, Jessica Moloney; Elyse Morgan; 100 games football: Lachlan Bonney; 150 games football: Kellan Smith.