BFL: Phil Carman's departure right for Sebastopol

Phil Carman addresses Sebastopol the day they were rebranded the ‘Sebas Saints’ earlier this year.
Phil Carman addresses Sebastopol the day they were rebranded the ‘Sebas Saints’ earlier this year.

SEBASTOPOL’S Phil Carman experiment was not so fabulous.

As the season wore on, it became clearer the former VFL/AFL star was not the right man for the job.

The Kookaburras need someone with the utmost commitment to help turn their fledgling football side around, not someone who lives more than an hour and a half away and only comes to Ballarat for training and match day.

‘Fabulous’ Phil Carman would be the first man to admit he did not know what he had signed up for when he agreed to take on a side that had only won one match in two years.

He had turned a club around in the past as coach; Norwood did not win a SANFL game under Carman in 1995, but he took them to the grand final just three years later.

Whether he was going to be able to do the same at Sebastopol will never be known.

Clearly, the Burras thought that would not be the case.

Carman lived in Ballarat for only about two months while trying to coach a side in the Ballarat Football League.

It can work. One only has to look at reigning North Ballarat City premiership coach Rob Waters, who lives in Kyneton.

But Waters immerses himself in knowing everything there is to know about the BFL. It is fair to say Carman’s knowledge of the league falls well behind other coaches.

He lives in Bendigo, where his son, Rhys, also plays football, having started the year at Sebastopol.

Rather than focusing on opposition, Carman was set on trying to get his young side to play its own brand of football.

It’s a good practice in theory, but a side can only get so far when a coach knows little about the 22 players on the other team.

In reality, Carman was behind the eight-ball from day one at Sebastopol.

Sebastopol rushed in to signing him late last November, after other coaching options for 2014 fell through.

He did not bring any recruits and at his disposal has been a side with an average age of just 19.

It was always going to be a monumental challenge and Carman simply would not have been up for the fight in 2015.

There was always a sense he would move on at the end of the season, despite signing on for two years.

The decision to cut him loose with three games remaining may seem harsh, but the Burras cannot find themselves in the position where summer is nearing and they still don’t have a coach.

Even Carman admits the club made the right call to move him on.

It needs to act now and there would be few people who would not be pleased to see a coach finally turn Sebastopol around.

Let’s hope somebody with the required pedigree has the courage to put up his hand and take the reins at Marty Busch Reserve.


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