MARK Williams’ instant success as stand-in coach has landed him Ballan’s top job for the next two Central Highlands Football League seasons.
The Hawthorn premiership player this week signed as senior playing coach for 2014 and 2015 and has been given the option of a third year by the club’s committee.
Williams has won all three matches against Clunes, Springbank and Skipton since taking over the role from departing coach Darron Batties late last month.
The 30-year-old said he had always planned on coaching, but admitted it has happened sooner than he anticipated.
“I think the time is right. I wanted to coach at senior level, whatever level it was. The job became available, and I want to finish my playing career (at Ballan) so I thought I’d give it a crack for the last month. So far so good,” Williams told The Courier.
“Get the players behind you and half of your job is done,” he added.
Williams is in his second year at the club after being lured there by Batties during his first year at the helm.
The Hawks’ dual leading goal-kicker, who also played four games with Essendon, has booted 22 majors in a difficult 2013 campaign that has been curtailed by injury and suspension.
While Williams’ scoring output hasn’t reached the heights of 2012 — when he booted 43 goals — he has played a significant part in the Blues’ success over the past three weeks. He was named best on ground in the win over Clunes, fifth best in the upset against Springbank and kicked five goals in the triumph over Skipton last Saturday.
Ballan president Billy Smith said Williams was the man to take the club forward.
“He has really stood up and the club feels like the professionalism he has showed is really good. The way he talks in huddles and the planning that he goes through, he has taken it to a whole new level, especially with his playing, too,” Smith said.
Ballan looks to make it four-straight wins to finish the season when it takes on Carngham-Linton tomorrow.
CHFL teams, page 38