Melton South Football Club has landed a huge coaching coup, signing former AFL star Brendan Fevola as playing co-coach for the 2017 season.
Fevola takes the coaching reins with Sean Triplett who has worked under the likes of Denis Pagan and Brett Ratten at the Carlton Football Club.
The dual Coleman medalist knows what it takes to be successful. Fresh off premiership success at Deer Park in the Western Region Football League, he also enjoyed back-to-back premierships at Yarrawonga in 2012 and 2013 in the Ovens and Murray Football League while he co-coached the side to a preliminary final in 2015.
Fevola, who played 187 games with Carlton and kicked 575 goals before a one-season stint at Brisbane, didn’t mince his words when it came to talking about the opportunity Melton South offers.
Having been involved with many successful football clubs at country level, the 35-year-old was drawn in by the challenge of picking a struggling club up off its knees and delivering success to a Melton South side that didn’t win a senior game in 2016.
“I don’t do anything half-hearted. We’re not here to make up the numbers, we’re here to have a crack,” Fevola said.
“Being at the bottom, it’s a great challenge. I’ve won Ovens and Murray grand finals, won a grand final in the Western Region Football League.
“They were really established clubs … coming to a club with kids that work hard every week and hopefully top it up with a few players – it’s a great challenge.
“I probably wouldn’t of done it if they were a middle-of-the-range side.”
At 35, Fevola realizes his playing days may be limited, despite kicking 49 goals from his 11 games at Deer Park, but his passion for coaching is evident – something he missed throughout 2016.
“Not coaching this year, it burnt a bit inside me that I wanted to coach again.
“Knowing that I’m coming to the end of playing, I thought it’d be a good opportunity to coach and what better opportunity than to coach Melton who haven’t had that much success over the last couple of years.
“To work with young kids, which I love doing, will be a great opportunity.”
Fevola and Triplett are under no illusions about the difficult task that lays ahead.
Melton South has won a combined seven games at senior and reserves level over the past three seasons.
The Panthers have an extremely young list at its disposal and while the pair will bring in some senior experience, the main priority will be developing the club’s youth and building from there.
“To go in with a group of young players, I think it’ll be a pretty special year.
“If everyone buys in hopefully we can put the runs on the board early. Hopefully all the people can come and watch and watch an exciting brand of footy because that’s what I’ll bring.
“I’m pretty laid back but once we cross that white line we’re pretty serious.”