NEW Charlton co-coach Anthony Judd is confident the Navies will hit the ground running in season 2021, despite the late appointments of he and Aaron Walklate.
Judd and Walklate are both former coaches of the Navies who are back at the helm of the club in the North Central league this year.
The two stalwarts of the club were only recently appointed, with both to also continue their lengthy playing careers.
Judd previously coached Charlton from 2010-12, while Walklate coached the Navies from 2014 to 2017, which included winning the 2016 premiership.
"Now that we've been appointed Aaron and I are both really keen. We've been talking a fair bit about it," said Judd, who has played more than 350 senior games with Charlton.
"In terms of pre-season when we've coached before we've both started pre-season training in February... we've got the guys to do their own stuff pre-Christmas and throughout January and then got stuck into it, so in some aspects it's similar this time.
"But we are still working on some players because understandably when clubs are recruiting they want to know who the coach is.
"We've been able to get a few players back who weren't sure whether they'd be going around again, which is good, and there's a fair few players that we're still working on.
"Recruiting-wise, the timing of the appointments has made it a bit challenging, but list-wise I think we're still going to be quite competitive."
Among the players returning to the Navies is 2016 premiership player Luke Mulquiny.
"He played in the flag, then had a stint at Minyip-Murtoa and overseas, so having him back is really important for us," Judd said.
"It still looks like we're going to have Tim Hill (returning to his home club from Eaglehawk) play for us and given last year was a write-off he will be like a new inclusion for us.
"We're going to have a very experienced group and I feel that we'll build as the year goes on... I don't think the late start to the pre-season will be too much of a factor."
Walklate and Judd are taking over the coaching reins from Kain Robins, who led the Navies from 2018 through to last year's abandoned season.
Veteran key position player Robins is continuing his playing career with Marong in the Loddon Valley league.
"Kain brought a lot to our club, so we'll miss him and his presence in the forward line. He was a great leader for the group," Judd said.
"We've still got Joe McGrath as a key forward; he's won the majority of our goalkicking over the past decade (seven times since 2011) and Tom Finlay as well, but we'll need to make sure we have a decent spread of goalkickers. Down the other end I'd be confident our defence will be fairly rock solid."
Charlton reached the preliminary final in its last season in 2019, falling one step short of playing in the grand final when beaten by Birchip-Watchem by 23 points.
Adding to the excitement of the build-up to the 2021 season for the Navies is the completion of a $4 million facility development at Charlton Park.
"We've got this brand new $4 million facility that is completed that we haven't had the chance to use yet, so everyone is really excited by that," Judd said.
The Navies host Wycheproof-Narraport in round one on April 10.
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