PETE Davey will still get the chance to coach an Ocean Grove team in 2020 despite the cancellation of the Bellarine Football League season.
Davey, who signed with the club as senior coach last September as the permanent replacement for Jordan Jones, is set to take charge of the Grubbers’ under-19 team, with co-coaches Matthew Payne and Michael Monk agreeing to the change.
“This came up two-and-a-half months ago. Matt Payne asked me if I’d be interested in coaching the 19s if the seniors didn’t get going,” Davey said.
“It was sitting on the burner for a little while. But as soon as the senior league was called, we announced this to the 19s group and we’ve been training since then.”
Payne and Monk will have match-day roles, while in a further coup for Ocean Grove, four-time Grubbers premiership mentor and former Western Bulldogs coach Brendan McCartney will also be involved.
“He’s made himself available for match days to talk to the kids as they’re coming off the ground,” Davey said.
“We’ve given them some tools, and hopefully they can really learn as much as they can over the next 10 weeks.”
The added bonus for Davey is the chance to work with a group of talented teenagers earmarked to play senior football this year.
“I had a chat to the guys when we first announced it, and I said ‘This is the chance for you guys to understand me, and for me to really get to know you, and understand our game-style and my coaching style’,” he said.
“And it’s a chance to get senior training habits in place early. It’s kind of like work experience for guys coming into the senior side.
“Hopefully they can embrace it and hit Round 1 next year with some great tools in their bag that will hold them in good stead.”
After winning the AFL Barwon Division 2 under-19 premiership in 2019, Davey said the playing group was keen to test themselves against the GFL clubs that have traditionally made up Division 1.
“I had Kobe Annand pull me aside after training last Tuesday and asked ‘Do you know if the NAB (League) competition will be playing this year?’,” Davey said.
“I said ‘They’re playing a round-robin’, and he said ‘I hope they hold it off because we want to play against these good players’.
“They want to play against St Joseph’s and St Mary’s and the Division 1 teams.”
Tom King is the editor of krockfootball.com.au. Head to the website for more regional football coverage.