Courtney McLean backs culture to drive Lake Wendouree's rise as she prepares to step into the A Grade coaching role for the 2022 Ballarat Football Netball League season.
McLean will take the reins from Katie Williams, who is stepping aside after four years at the helm.
Williams led the Lakers to three-straight finals appearances as a player-coach before shifting to a non-playing role this year.
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McLean is currently coaching Lake Wendouree's B Grade side while also playing an important role in the goal ring for the A Grade team.
Next year will be her first season as an A Grade coach.
"I'm so excited. But, it's quite daunting now that it's real," McLean told The Courier. "When the idea of Katie not being around came about, coaching was something I thought about and was something I'd love to do.
"Now that it's here, it's equally exciting and daunting. Katie has done such an amazing job since she's been at the Lakers."
McLean's appointment is a bittersweet moment in a long-held devotion to the club.
Her late mother, Sally, coached Lake Wendouree to five A Grade premierships between 2007 and 2012, while battling a rare smooth muscle cancer.
She was named the coach of the BFNL's best team of the first 20 years and was the first female inductee into the league's hall of fame.
Both the Lakers and the league's best-and-fairest medals are named in her honour.
"It definitely does make it more special," McLean said.
"The club, culturally, is very much still on the same track. We haven't lost that at all since Mum was here.
"Throughout Romsey (Kirsty Walsh) taking over, then Katie and then myself, the club's culture has tied us all together.
"We've got more than three players in every grade that have played over 100 games, and we're yet to pay a player.
"I think that speaks highly as to what we can provide as a club."
Lake Wendouree currently sits fourth, firmly in the finals conversation.
It shares 28 points with East Point in third, but is only two points clear of Redan in sixth.
McLean said she would work with Williams for the rest of the season to ensure a smooth transition.
"It's going to be really good because we love the path that A Grade team is on at the moment," McLean said.
"We just want that to continue to grow and we've both got very similar ideas about what we want for the future.
"Thing have slowly started to slot into place. What we're most positive about is that we know we have depth within our club and we're really hoping this will be the next phase for the Lakers."
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