THE Bendigo Football-Netball League has got on the front foot with the appointment of Darryl Wilson as senior coach for the 2019 AFL Victoria Community Championships.
Not only do Wilson’s credentials speak for themselves, but the December appointment provides him with plenty of scope for plotting the league’s build-up to its May 18 encounter against Outer East at the QEO.
And Wilson has made it clear he intends to make the most of that time to the extent that he plans to have a training squad named in early January, as well as a captain in place, with reigning Michelsen medallist and inter-league stalwart Jack Geary the obvious choice to continue in the role.
Wilson takes over the coaching reins from Brett Fitzpatrick and will lead a Bendigo side that is at No.10 on the AFL Victoria rankings and sits in the pecking order behind Northern at No.1, Geelong, Ovens and Murray, Mornington Peninsula Nepean, Goulburn Valley, Western Region, Hampden, Ballarat and opponents Outer East.
There’s plenty of existing inter-league calibre talent in the BFNL – including four players who represented Victoria Country last year in the Golden Square duo of Geary and Adam Baird, Sandhurst’s Andrew Collins and Gisborne’s Jack Scanlon at under-19 level – but it’s clear from the recruiting across the competition there will be plenty of new-comers to add to the mix.
The forward line power is already a tantalising prospect when you consider Wilson’s attack could potentially boast Maryborough’s Stewart Crameri and Gisborne’s Pat McKenna straight off AFL lists and dual Subiaco premiership player Matt Boland now at Kangaroo Flat alongside the likes of Strathfieldsaye’s Lachlan Sharp, South Bendigo’s Kaiden Antonowicz, Sandhurst’s Collins and Golden Square’s Jayden Burke.
Bendigo has lost its past two inter-league matches by less than two kicks.
Wilson wants Bendigo back up the rankings and to get a crack against the Goulburn Valley in particular, which could potentially happen in 2020.
But in the meantime, given Wilson’s coaching pedigree, his appointment is a positive start to the 2019 campaign.
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