Cooper joins Wickers as assistant coach

CRESWICK coach Len Watson has unveiled his first major signing since taking over the top job late last year.

Former Minyip-Murtoa player Tom Cooper has joined the Wickers in an assistant coaching role for the 2013 Central Highlands Football League season.

Cooper, 26, was assistant at the Wimmera league side, and has been lured to Creswick as a centre half-forward to help the team in front of goals.

Watson said the Wickers had struggled to score big totals last season despite securing a breakthrough finals appearance under second-year coach Damian Lubeek.

Creswick was clearly the lowest scoring team inside the top eight in 2012, with five sides outside the finals also scoring more heavily that the red, white and black.

Watson said much of the areas that proved successful for Creswick under Lubeek would remain the same this season, with a strong emphasis again on the young brigade that  has carried the team so far.

“I wanted to stick with the structures that Damian had because obviously the players responded to it and it was working well,” Watson told The Courier.

“I’d have to be a mad man to make wholesale changes.”

Watson, who coached Castlemaine in the Bendigo league for the past two seasons, said he was still in talks with four or five prospective players.

He said the club’s aim was to be up among the leading division of teams in the coming years.

“We are realistic about where we are at, but we’re also hoping in the next couple of years we can be challenging some of those top sides,” he said.

Creswick, which kickstarts its 2013 campaign with a home clash against Clunes on April 13, will resume training on Monday night from 6pm at Doug Lindsay Reserve.