BFL: sacked Phil Carman says 'weight lifted off shoulders'

Phil Carman

Phil Carman

SACKED Sebastopol coach Phil Carman says he feels like a weight has been lifted off his shoulders.

Carman coached his last Ballarat Football League match for Sebastopol on Saturday, in his side’s 111-point loss to Redan.

It was Sebastopol’s seventh 100-point-plus loss for the year, in what has been another winless season for the Kookaburras.

The former VFL/AFL star said the decision by the club to cut him loose three games from season’s end was the right call and he held no bitterness towards Sebastopol.

He will be replaced for the rest of the season by Wayne Sheridan, who has coached the under-18.5s for the season, while last year’s senior coach, Shawne Dummett, will coach the under-agers.

Carman had originally signed on for two years but told the club during the week he would not stay on board for 2015, at which point the decision was made to end his tenure after Saturday’s game.

“It would have been a case of just going through the motions if I was there for another three weeks. 

“It was a good call,” Carman said.

“To be honest, I feel absolutely wonderful. I can honestly say a massive weight has been lifted off my shoulders.”

Carman still lives in Bendigo and had to drive more than 90 minutes to training two nights a week, as well as on match day.

Sebastopol president Chris Parker said it was far from ideal to have a coach who was not part of the Ballarat community try to resurrect his side.

“We felt it wasn’t the right thing for our group to have a coach that doesn’t live in the town,” Parker said.

“We need someone that is in the town that is still connected with the league.

“We don’t want to be in the same position as last year where we don’t have a coach late in the year. The search starts now.”

Carman was signed last November and was the last BFL coach to jump on board for the 2014 season.

He admitted he was behind the eight-ball to start off with, with no big recruits and only an extremely young list at his disposal.

“I’ve never had to coach sides where players can play without training.

“I don’t think that would happen with other clubs in the league,” Carman said.

“It was too hard to build up good relationships with the players when I was living so far away.”

The Burras have won just one match in their past 52 games, but Carman said he thought it would be possible for someone to turn the club around.

“They need to recruit heavily but also keep everyone they already have,” he said.

“It will be hard for whoever steps up, but it is possible.”

Sebastopol faces Melton, Bacchus Marsh and Ballarat in its three remaining games for the year.

patrick.nolan@fairfaxmedia.com.au

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