Happy Cat to keep Allansford purring along

THE rise of Warrnambool and District league club Allansford will continue with Josh Parkinson at the helm.

Allansford coach Josh Parkinson will return next season to continue inspiring the Cats’ resurgence. 140614LP24 Picture: LEANNE PICKETT

Allansford coach Josh Parkinson will return next season to continue inspiring the Cats’ resurgence. 140614LP24 Picture: LEANNE PICKETT

The Cats yesterday announced Parkinson would coach for a third season as their bid to end a flag drought stretching back to 1987 continues.

The former North Warrnambool Eagle was excited by the reappointment, which he said was “beneficial for both parties” after two solid campaigns.

He would have been happy to step away had the club wanted a new coach but was pleased to receive officials’ endorsement to stay on.

“It’s just the chance to keep developing the group we’ve got and see how far we can go,” he said. 

“I think to have another year would be beneficial for both parties.

“If the club wasn’t happy I would’ve been fine to step away, that would’ve been a decision I’d have taken no worries at all.

“But we certainly want to see the club grow and become a better place.”

Parkinson steered Allansford to fifth in his first season at the helm in 2013, bowing out of the flag race with an elimination final defeat to Dennington.

The Cats have improved this season, completing a season double against Merrivale and coming within a straight kick of upstaging Panmure.

But a string of injuries in the past month, including a broken collarbone to Sam Holloway, have dropped them to fourth with one round remaining.

Uncertainty also surrounds when Esam Medal favourite Nick Johnstone will return while Ben Lenehan, Travis Membrey and Jason Wilson remain sidelined.

“The last month, we played some good footy at the start of the month and we’ve been hit pretty hard with injuries to our best players,” Parkinson said.

He said the club was yet to start discussions with players about staying on next season but hoped they could see the club was working towards something.

“There’s no use picking up five players and losing 10, we want to keep our list intact. 

“We think we’ve got a pretty good list and a pretty good culture going,” he said.

The Cats’ announcement follows that of East Warrnambool, which on Tuesday revealed Paul Butters would stay on for a fourth season as coach.

Elsewhere, South Rovers, Deakin University and Timboon Demons are hunting new leaders after the resignations of their incumbents.

Nirranda re-signed Aidan Cole for a second year in May while former Russells Creek premiership player Jay Everall will again guide the Kangaroos in 2015.

Ben Parkinson (Dennington), Karl Dwyer (Merrivale) and Daryl Beechey (Old Collegians) are likewise in their first years and near-certainties to continue.

Panmure and Kolora-Noorat are yet to reveal their coaching arrangements for next season and beyond.

Simon O’Keefe is in his third season coaching the Bulldogs while Ben Kenna has led the Power to three premierships during his six years in the role.

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