IN A TIME of change, Queenscliff Football Netball Club has ensured some continuity with the reappointment of Steve Clark as senior team coach.
Clark is synonymous with the club. He played as a junior and senior with Queenscliff before taking over as coach from 2000 to 2006.
The 164 matches he has coached Queenscliff for is just 14 shy of the most by any coach in the Bellarine Football League (Matthew Sproule the record with 178 games).
Clark said before the coronavirus pandemic, 2020 had the potential to be a strong year for the team.
“We had a good pre-season and were looking forward to kicking off the year really well. I was quite bullish about how we were going to look, and then all of a sudden you’re wondering whether the season is going ahead.”
Clark said the cancellation of the season meant he and the other coaching staff were presented with a new set of challenges.
“When we were told it wasn’t going ahead it just became flat. We just wanted to make sure the boys were alright from a mental awareness point of view, and just keep them as up-to-date as possible.”
However, the disappointment of this season was a significant motivator in Clark deciding to stay on.
“I’m a lot closer to finishing then I am to starting. I didn’t want to finish on that note.
“My first year back (2018) we came home really strong and things were looking really good, and then 2019 we just had a horrific year with injuries, and then we get to COVID, so I just didn’t want to finish on the back of that after all his time.
“Speaking to (club president) Rowan (Martin), it was important to us we kept stability around in these uncertain times, so I just wanted to make sure it was the right decision for the club.”
In a statement released by the club, Martin said there was little doubt Clark’s reappointment was to the club’s benefit both on and off the field.
“Steve has been instrumental in rebuilding our senior football squad and developing a strong team culture that exhibits our club values.
“Steve’s reappointment reflects the confidence our club has in his ability to deliver success on the field but also acknowledges the positive influence that he has on the development of our junior footballers as well.”
The club also announced Kent Hannam would be continuing as the reserve team coach.