A TALENT-laden list with a spine to build around was the major factor in Josh Parkinson’s decision to coach Allansford.
The Cats yesterday revealed the North Warrnambool Eagles onballer would replace James Byrne at the helm of the senior football side.
Parkinson, 29, has committed to two years in the role and has the task of improving on the Cats’ straight-sets finals exit.
J. A. Esam medallist Nick Johnstone has also re-signed with Allansford after a stellar debut campaign with the club.
Parkinson said he put pen to paper after realising the potential of the playing group, built around an impressive list of key-position stocks.
He said he would meet with the Cats’ recruiters this week to identify gaps in the list and potenital recruiting targets.
“The list they’ve got at the moment is pretty stable. They’ve managed to sign up a lot of their top-line players,” he said.
“That was certainly a factor in taking on the job.
“They’ve got a pretty good spine, and if you’re only worried about filling in the flanks and the wings it’s a pretty good thing.
“You still have to recruit — you can’t stand still otherwise people will go straight past you,” he said.
“The next week or so we’ll sit down and go through the list. You can afford to selectively recruit players a bit more, rather than trying to bring in everyone.”
Parkinson said coaching at senior level was “something I’ve been building towards for the last six seasons”.
He coached the Eagles’ reserves in 2006 while injured and also served as a playing assistant under Leigh McCluskey.
Parkinson has also coached Allansford Cricket Club but said playing football with cricket teammates did not influence his decision.
“There’s not a huge crossover — only a few committeemen and three or four players, which is quite attractive to me,” he said.
“You can go in there fresh, you know you haven’t coached them before at cricket.
“It’s only a few players so it wasn’t about following mates,” he said.
“It’s a good opportunity and a good offer to take up a list that improved greatly last season.”
Parkinson said he would keep in contact with McCluskey, who helped him develop the skills to become a prospective coach.
He said he believed in the mantra that premierships are built on defences — the Cats have one of the best — and wanted to add “flair” to their game.
Allansford football operations manager Glenn Byron said he was pleased with the appointment.
“Our plan is to obviously get better. We think Josh has got the ability to attract players to enable us to do that,” he said.
“Our list is good enough to challenge, but as we saw last year, we need to add a couple to make sure we’re in the last game of the year.”