SWFL coaching merry-go-round
The South West Football League could feature as many as six new faces among its head coaching ranks next season as teams begin preparations for their 2015 campaigns.
The Harvey Bulls and Collie Eagles have both unveiled new coaches while Harvey-Brunswick-Leschenault, Donnybrook, Augusta-Margaret River and Busselton are all advertising their league positions.
Former Bulls stalwart Paul Fimmano, who captained the club to its first premiership in the Peel League, has been handed the reins at Harvey after spending last year as a development coach with the West Australian Football Commission under Jamie Doust.
Fimmano has also previously coached the Bulls reserves and has more than a decade of experience with the Harvey juniors.
He replaces Paul Pannell, who compiled a 9-27 record during his two years at the helm.
“I think the biggest key is to get back as many locals as possible ahead of next season,” Fimmano said.
“Priority number one is to create the right environment because we have a lot of players who have stepped away from football because they were no longer enjoying it.
“Then we need to get fit, very fit, and improve our skill base.”
Fimmano did not rule out outside recruitment but stressed the focus would be on developing home-grown talent.
“I think every South West club needs a small group of players from Perth or other regions but it is a matter of getting the right ones that can also help you teach and fast track the development of all of your players, ” he said.
Brett Earl’s three-year reign at Collie, which included back-to-back grand final appearances before a disappointing sixth-place finish last season, also comes to an end.
The club has named assistant Brad Humble as his replacement.
Humble, at Earl’s request, joined the Eagles from Lower South West Football League club Bridgetown at the start of the season.
The former Swan Districts strength and conditioning coach said he was planning an immediate return to finals football.
“At the end of the day everyone wants to win a grand final,” he said.
“Realistically we need a good key forward, a ruckman and another quality midfielder to help the young blokes out.
“We feel like we have enough leaders in the 25-plus age group and some talented young kids but then there is a massive shortfall in players that are between 20 and 25 and that is something we will have to work on.”
Humble said dual Sandover Medallist Stephen Michael had signed on as an assistant coach with Michael Roney and Victorian recruit Tony Mirabella also taking on expanded on-field leadership roles.
He also guaranteed the return of the Collie Eagles colts team next year after it sat out the 2014 season because of a lack of players.
Click here to go mobile with iNFOGO - local everywhere
Get the latest news from thewest.com.au in your inbox.
Sign up for our emails