Rebels coach to go full time under new expanded role

The Greater Western Victoria Rebels are one of two TAC Cup clubs being used to trial a new head coach and regional coaching director role.

NEW ROLE?: Gerard FitzGerald finished his contract with the Rebels at the end of October.

NEW ROLE?: Gerard FitzGerald finished his contract with the Rebels at the end of October.

There has been a call for applications for the new job, which has been set up as a full time position.

As it stands, Rebels head coach Gerard FitzGerald only works for the club on a part time basis.

FitzGerald finishes his current contract at the end of this month and is expected to be one of the key candidates for the role.

GWV talent manager Phil Partington said Gippsland Power, Bendigo Pioneers and Murray Bushrangers already had full time TAC Cup coaches, but revealed that the new Rebels job would be more expansive.

“We are catching up with those clubs now with this position, but also including a really important role to improve local coaching across western Victoria,” he said.

“It’s a huge role and we are really excited that the job is going full time, which we think will benefit footy across western Victoria.”

An overview of the role states that the successful applicant will be charged with the responsibility of improving coaching standards across the region, with a particular emphasis at junior level.

The position includes overseeing and supporting coach education and has an emphasis on the talent pathways and working with the Western Bulldogs and their Next Generation Academies.

It will incorporate the TAC Cup boys head coaching position and hold a responsibility of overseeing the coaching of the boys and girls that are participants in the GWV Rebels pathways program.

The Calder Cannons are also seeking a person for this new role.

Partington said FitzGerald was looking at the position, but added that there was no guarantees on who would eventually get the job.

FitzGerald, who coached the North Ballarat Rebels in 2005 and 2006, returned to the region’s TAC Cup post for the 2016 season.

The former Geelong footballer and three-time North Ballarat Roosters VFL premiership coach continued in the role this year, with the Rebels finishing second last on the ladder with five wins.

“(It’s) the best fit applicant for the position and whoever that is through the interview process will get the position,” Partington said.

He said the job could be for someone looking to get into the full time coaching scene or someone with experience.

“We want to be a pathway for coaches into the AFL. That’s what we are about as well, developing people to go further into their careers,” Partington told The Courier.

“That also helps developing young players into the best they can be, too.”

The new job is advertised on the AFL Careers website and applications will close on Sunday, October 8 at 5pm.