Port have new men in charge
STORY AND PHOTO COURTESY OF 'PORT MACQUARIE NEWS'
The Port Macquarie Magpies have secured the services of feisty on-baller Tim Donohue as coach for the 2009 AFL North Coast season.
Donohue, 27, will share the duties in first grade with club stalwart and life member, Scott Payne, 35.
To add to these two, the highly-respected Scott Abercrombie, who has played for the Magpies over the past two seasons, will take on a specialist coaching role.
He’ll further develop players’ skills and help those new to the game.
Club president Paul Sheldon said the combination would, hopefully, provide plenty of spark for the Magpies, who were looking to challenge the dominant Sawtell in 2009.
“Tim is the sort of player who leads by example, when he hits a pack, he leaves a hole in it,” Sheldon said.
“And Payney is looking to install some discipline into the firsts and is very keen to make sure their season is an enjoyable and successful one.”
Donohue is making a return to senior football after having to sit out for the past couple of seasons due to work commitments.
“Thanks to Cavalier Homes and my father Rob, I am now in a position to give as much as I can to my football and I’m looking forward to working with Scott (Payne), Paul (Sheldon) and Scott (Abercrombie) and doing my best for the Magpies, which has always been a club that has come to expect success,” Donohue said.
Donohue’s career has seen him play at the highest levels in the very strong Golden Rivers League (in Hay), and he has achieved premiership success in Byron Bay as well as a season of club football in Adelaide.
Payne is a life member of the club who coached the senior Magpies outfit from 2002 to 2004.
Donohue said Payne will be “the sideline eyes for first grade”.
“In Scott we have a past senior coach, 200-game player and a six-time AFL interleague representative,” he explained.
“So, there will be plenty of experience for the side.”
“If I can sum up what we’re looking for in 2009 in one word, it would be dedication,” Payne added.
“I really want to see a dedication from the players that pull on the Magpies jumper – at training where they’ll be expected to put in the effort, and dedication to their team mates on and off the field.
“While we won the senior grand final in 2007 under Matt Newton, the reserve graders have put together six premierships in a row and there is an enjoyment about what they do as a playing unit and I want firsts to create their own culture of sacrifice and dedication to their mates and they’ll reap the same rewards.”
The Magpies have also the prospect of adding up to six new experienced players to the roster this season as interest is already peaking for the upcoming season.
The only major losses at this stage look like being Dan Bylsma, Jarrod Brian and the highly-respected Newton through injury problems.
Sheldon will again coach the Magpies’ seconds, looking to extend the run of six premierships with an ageing but skilful list.
The under 18s will be under the tutelage of John Stangherlin, Mark Clark and Craig Carroll.
They’ll look to make a real impact now that some of the traditionally stronger clubs have lost many of their juniors because age has rendered them ineligible for the under 18s.
Training for the Magpies has commenced at Stuarts Park in Port Macquarie.
All existing and new players are more than welcome to attend.
For any enquiries, phone club president Paul Sheldon on 0417 567 675.