CRESWICK has completed the Central Highlands Football League coaching jigsaw puzzle with the appointment of Len Watson to the helm this week.
The Wickers had been the only club without a senior coach before signing Watson on a two-year deal to replace Damian Lubeek.
Lubeek was in the top job for two years and took the club to its first senior finals appearance since 1987 last season.
Watson has coached Castlemaine in the Bendigo Football League for the past two seasons, and had planned to spend some time away from football.
“The opportunity came up for Castlemaine to have an ex-AFL player Rob Keogh become coach, which was perfect for me because my plan was to come in for a couple of years, and then – never having spent any time away from footy – step aside,” Watson said.
“It was a big decision to leave. I’ve played over 300 games with Castlemaine and coached the club at every different level so it will be different. But I’m a person who’s never embraced change, so this is an exciting move.”
Watson was attracted to Creswick’s young group that is being given a chance at senior football.
“There’s great young players – and I like working with a young group as it allows for development,” he said.
“The first time I met with Creswick, I was really impressed with the structure in place and the improvements they’ve been making ... it will be a good fit for me.”
Creswick president Peter Considine said Watson’s mentoring with juniors at Castlemaine made him a great candidate for the club.
“He’s got a lot of experience coaching in the Bendigo league – he helps kids on their individual game as well as helps them learn to win as a team,” Considine said.
Both Watson and Considine want to keep the country atmosphere as an integral part of the club with contribution from members at all levels.
“I’m looking for improvement, and commitment from everyone right throughout the club – from juniors, seniors, netballers ...” Watson said.
Watson will meet with club leaders on Sunday and players on Monday.