Written by Ryan Rosendale
Plenty of eyes will be firmly focused on the Glenorchy Football Club in 2018 as the Magpies look to usher in a new era of success under newly-appointed coach Paul Kennedy. TSL Digital Reporter Ryan Rosendale recently caught up with the Magpies leader to get an insight into what his side may bring to the TSL in 2018.
TSL Inception: 2009
TSL Premierships: 2016
Alastair Lynch Medallists: Jaye Bowden (2012, 2015, 2016)
Hudson Medallists: Aaron Cornelius (2014), Jaye Bowden (2015, 2016)
Home Ground: KGV Oval, Glenorchy
Head Coach: Paul Kennedy
Captain: Brayden Webb
Key 2018 Clashes: Round 2 v Lauderdale at KGV on April 7 – Bring KGV Alive Community Day
Round 7 v Launceston at Windsor Park on May 12 – Semi-Final re-match
Round 17 v North Launceston at KGV on July 21 – 2016 Grand Final re-match
2017 Finish: Semi-Final loss v Launceston (4th after Home and Away season)
For the TSL’s newest senior coach, Paul Kennedy, moving his young family down to the Apple Isle has not come with a minute of regret.
After playing and coaching stints in Melbourne and Adelaide, it was a simple text message from a former Glenorchy player that drew Kennedy to the role.
“I’d just missed out on the Frankston job in the VFL and then I’d received a text from Tom Cleary, who I’d coached at Coburg after his stint here at Glenorchy, and it was the ad for the senior role here.”
After a discussion with his wife, the couple decided it was the right time to shift themselves and their young daughter across Bass Strait.
Three months in, Kennedy says he has no regrets about the decision.
“The lifestyle change has been great for the family and then just the people and players around the club have been really welcoming and it’s fantastic so I haven’t had a minute of regret.”
When he first walked through the doors, Kennedy remembers just how impressed he was by the club as a whole.
“I was super impressed by the facilities here. Having been involved with some state league clubs in Melbourne and Adelaide, I think the facilities we have here at KGV are as good as anything I’ve ever been involved with,” Kennedy says.
“On the track, the guys have really trained hard over the summer. They’ve picked up things well and taken ownership really well. We’ve had solid numbers at training and they’ve embraced that summer slog.”
The club has managed to keep together 29 of the 37 players that tasted senior football last year with a number of players making an immediate impact with their new coach.
“Josh Arnold has been tremendous”, Kennedy says. “His professionalism is outstanding and he’d slot into any VFL program because of that. He’s one of our two backline coaches this season and he’s relished that challenge over summer.”
“Rhys Mott and obviously Brayden Webb have also been fantastic. Brayden as the on-field leader has elite training standards and others follow him because of that but the thing that sticks out the most with him is that he cares about the Glenorchy Football Club and that’s all you can ask from your captain.”
Kennedy also named Harrison Gunther, Joel Millhouse and two players that have returned to the club in Josh Grant and Mitch Walker as players who have impressed throughout pre-season.
“Two players that also have really good potential are Jake and Jye Bearman. Their brothers and they’ve both got natural football ability. They read the play well and they’ve both got those mercurial sorts of skills so for them it’s just developing their understanding of the game. This year will be a stepping stone for them but the future looks bright for them at Glenorchy.”
While developing the playing list from within has been a strong focus for Kennedy in his short tenue, he also wants to bring a community feel back to football.
“Football used to be the centrepiece of the community of a Saturday but that’s dropped away all over the country. So for me and the club, we want to get engaged with a lot of community groups and get that next wave of Glenorchy supporters through the gate.”
On-field, Kennedy says that he plans to build on what former coach Aaron Cornelius was able to achieve over his tenure.
“In terms of what I bring compared to what ‘Ace’ (Cornelius) brought, I shuffle the cards a bit different but the building blocks are very similar.”
“The players understand the basics of it and then they pick up the new stuff within those structures. We want to be an aggressive side with or without the ball but be smart in the way we approach that aggression.
“If fans come to watch they will see a team that is well organised and very aggressive but one that also picks their moments really well.”
Outside the four walls of KGV, Kennedy believes every side can do damage this season but singled out the two northern based sides in Launceston and North Launceston as two that could have really strong seasons.