GREAT expectations await the Ballarat Masters this season, with the club announcing that it has expanded to field two teams in the Victorian Country Masters Football League.
Former Sunshine player Slade Hanneysee has been named as the new coach of the existing over-35s team while Tony Lovett has returned to Ballarat to coach the club’s first over-45 squad after last season coaching with Moorabool Valley.
Hanneysee, 36, is a two-time Western Football League MVP as well as a best and fairest award winner with Sunshine.
He comes to Ballarat after spending last season with the Western Kangaroos in the Metropolitan Masters competition
But he revealed he was initially reluctant to take on the role of Masters coach due to the impending birth of his third child. “I wasn’t too keen on the gig at first because my wife was only a few weeks pregnant when the club came to me,” Hanneysee admitted.
“I ended up having a talk to her and she said to me: ‘if you’re going to sit at home and be miserable I’d much rather you play footy, and if you’re going to play footy you might as well coach.’
“It’s going to be a lot different coaching the older blokes – with juniors you’re trying to teach them the basics of the game, but with the seniors all you’re focusing on is stopping them from doing their hammies (hamstrings).”
Hanneysee is hoping for around 25-30 players to turn up for the club’s first official training session at Marty Busch Reserve tonight, with training scheduled for every Wednesday night from next week onwards.