COACHING is an element Cam Richardson has been thinking about adding to his game for a couple of years now.
Fresh out of the AFL and Victorian Football League systems, Richardson has seized the chance to take up his first coaching post at Maddingley Park as Bacchus Marsh playing coach.
“I was keen for any opportunity as head coach and made this clear when I spoke to clubs,” Richardson said. “From my point of view, it’s a big challenge. I haven’t had an assistant job before.
“Hopefully, I can bring my experience and help the team improve.”
The 25-year-old launched his elite football journey with rival Ballarat Football League club North Ballarat City.
He became a North Ballarat Roosters’ premiership player and was drafted to the Roosters’ AFL partner North Melbourne in 2010.
Richardson said it was a tough decision not to take his game back to City but he was encouraged by North Ballarat board member Terry Hay to pursue the coaching position with the Cobras.
He will inherit a promising, young Cobras’ list that was well-developed by outgoing coach Doug Hawkins.
“They’re young and to almost make finals is a great achievement,” Richardson said.
“Usually VFL clubs have a pretty young list, with guys trying to play at the highest level ... I guess I’ve been starting to voice my ideas more the past couple of years.”
Illness and injury hampered Richardson’s time with the Kangaroos after a break-out debut year in 2011 when he played eight AFL games.
He started to build good form with the Roosters, on the Roos’ rookie list, in the VFL last year.
Richardson said he used times when he was struggling with form, or sidelined, to absorb as much game-sense and style as he could.
“I feel if I can get back to the fitness levels I once had, I’ll be a much better player because of the AFL experience,” Richardson said.
“I’ve learnt so much from my time in the AFL, even in just trying to play at the highest level.”
Richardson moved to live in Bacchus Marsh with his young family while with the Kangaroos.
He looks forward to representing his new hometown.