Stability is the key focus for the Kingborough Tigers heading into 2020 and that’s exactly what they look to be establishing, with head coach Trent Baumeler committing to the club until the end of the 2023 #BUPATSL season.
Baumeler, who took-up the role at the start of the 2018 season after working as an assistant coach for the then-Hobart City Demons, has helped the side crack into its first senior finals campaign in 2019, a season that saw the club register six wins – the most in its history since joining the competition in 2014.
Now heading into this third season, Baumeler insisted it was a ‘no-brainer’ to further his commitment to the competition’s southernmost outfit.
“It was something we discussed midway through the season, just to get some stability around the place,” he said.
“We are two years into the journey under me, and with Paul staying on as president and pretty much all of our players signing on, we have some stability around the club.”
Baumeler can see the pathways available for coaches in the state, particularly after what North Launceston premiership coach Zane Littlejohn has achieved as an assistant coach at the Brisbane Lions.
“I initially wanted to see if I could do it (coaching), and now from my years with the Tigers and having done my Level 3 Coaching Course, hopefully it can become something I can pursue.
“But for now I’m fully committed to the Tigers which I’m so, so happy about.
“Zane has definitely been a trailblazer for all of us in Tassie. Seeing what he has done, and what Aaron Cornelius has done in the NEAFL and with Box Hill, those guys have shown that there are good coaches in Tassie.
“We want to be careful in not disrespecting the coaching talent down here. All the seven State League coaches put so much time and effort into their craft and their clubs, there are some really good coaches down here who could all go to a higher level if they want to.
The Tigers impressed in 2019 with high profile recruits Kieran Lovell and Mickey Paul leading the way.
With these two and the majority of others committing to the club, plus a swag of other first-team players set to come back from injury or representative footy, the team’s approach to recruitment has taken a different tact this summer.
“It’s been a stable off-season for us with a lot of guys coming back and us not having to go out to too many people.
“Will Campbell played no games for us this year. Cooper Sawdy has had successful off-season surgery, so hopefully his leg issues are sorted – he is a senior footballer. Lachie Gadomski, Bailey Gordon and Zach Adams, there are half a dozen guys who will come in and push for senior selection,” he said.
“We also make a big focus on recruiting from within zone. We want to be a club of choice.
We are proud that nearly 90% of our senior list are all from the region, Kingborough, Huonville, Cygnet, Southern Storm; we really want to be that rep team for the area. Hopefully there are a few young guys in our zone who come up and test themselves.”
The only confirmed loss for the Tigers is Oliver Burrows-Cheng, who finished fifth in the Tasmania Devils U18 Boys Best & Fairest count.
“It’s fantastic for Ollie, he has got a university scholarship at Bond University on the Gold Coast.
“That was always on the cards for him, that’s the path his brother (2019 Eade Medalist Edward) went down as well, but at the end of the day we only had Ollie for two games this year. He is a loss for the character and person he is as well as his football ability, it is a fantastic opportunity for him.
“Who is to say like his big brother that he won’t come back down to us again in a few years.”
The focus for Baumeler heading into 2020 is simple.
“Constant improvement is the focus.
“My first goal as a coach is always to win more games than you did the season before. This year we focused on getting the five and now we will focus on the seven and try to get to those seven games as quick as we can, show that improvement and the rest should take care of itself.”