GUY Smith will lead the Wimmera Football League’s interleague side next season.
The Wimmera league tackles the Murray Football League in a match to be hosted by Murray on May 18.
Smith said he was excited to take on the challenge and has his sights set on coaching for at least the next two seasons.
“Trevor Albrecht (league chief commissioner) contacted me about four weeks ago and it’s something I have always wanted to do,” he said.
“The timing hasn’t suited me in the past but I’m very keen to do it now. I was involved as assistant coach for the Horsham District’s interleague side this year and I really enjoyed it.
“It’s something I want to invest a bit of time into and make sure I do it properly across the next two or three years. The Wimmera league has allowed me to do that and it’s great. The guys who have previously coached have been exceptional players and coaches; I guess now it’s my turn and I want to do it properly.”
Smith said one of the challenges of coaching interleague was trying to encourage the best talent in the league to take part in the game.
“Last year we didn’t have the best team we could have put on the park for the Horsham District league,” he said.
“I believe we have a lot of talent in Wimmera league that could match it with just about anyone, but unfortunately sometimes you can’t get all that talent onto the park.
“Something I really want to do next year is try and get all of the senior coaches involved. I want them to all be like assistant coaches and I think if the team leaders are behind it, I think that will encourage those better players to put their hand up.”
Smith has a distinguished coaching pedigree in the Wimmera – he is a level three coach and currently the high performance coach at the Horsham Demons, he has coached Beulah to a senior flag and coached Horsham to three senior premierships, and has also spent time coaching at Horsham United, Noradjuha-Quantong and Kalkee.
Smith takes control of the interleague side coming off a loss to the Bellarine Football League this year.
He said he did know a bit about the Murray Football League and was looking forward to seeing the contest unfold.
“I have a really close friend who’s home club is Nathalia, and they have won the last four premierships over there,” he said.
“We played Murray a few years ago and from reports the Wimmera league was with them most of the day but just fell away for 10 minutes.
“I’ve watched some of their games and I think body wise and team play wise, they are very similar to us.”
Smith said his coaching tactics would depend on the team the league can put together.
“Because it is that one game and you get one crack, you need to go into it with an open mind,” he said.
“Do you go in and just 100 per cent attack, or do you have a solid one-on-one type match-ups, and wear them down? It’ll definitely depend on the calibre of players we have.
“It’s like winning a premiership, if you want to win the game you have to have the best available players.”
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