NEWLY-appointed Deakin University coach Trent Anderson is confident he can turn the struggling club’s fortunes around quickly.
The first-time senior coach has signed a two-year deal with the Warrnambool and District Football Netball League club.
Anderson, 27, said building a competitive list and developing the Sharks’ young talent appealed to him.
“(I like) the idea of having the reins and coaching my way,” he said.
“I want to change the game play totally and individually fix players so they know their roles — teach a half-back flanker to be a half-back flanker and a forward to be a forward.”
Anderson has joined Deakin Uni from Hampden league club Port Fairy. He has also played senior football for North Warrnambool Eagles and VAFA club De La Salle.
The key position player, who was restricted to seven games in 2012 with a niggling knee injury, said the Sharks had already started their recruitment process.
He said he was keen to bolster the club’s list and attract more Mortlake juniors.
“I want to get the better out of the young uni students,” Anderson said.
“I am really looking forward to working with the uni students. We need to pick up a few key position players around them.
“I believe we can make finals, that is the goal — make the top five and take it one stage at a time from there.”
Anderson will have family helping him, with uncles Ray, Terang’s 1972 premiership coach, and Noel running the Sharks’ bench.
Deakin Uni president Luke Jackson said the Andersons would work well together.
“Ray has coached a lot of football and is chairman of selectors,” he said.
“You’re not going to get a better mentor as coach than Ray for a first-time coach.
“It’s a package deal but we’re happy with the package.”
Jackson said forward Clint Baker would take on more responsibility in his second season as a Shark and Rodney Ryan would work as football liaison for the club.
Jackson said Anderson was the perfect fit for the Sharks, a team looking to build after collecting the 2012 wooden spoon.
“He ticks all the right boxes and is very keen,” Jackson said.
“We are keen to have him as a coach first and foremost and as a player.
“He is in the right age bracket.
“We really have no one between the ages of 23 and 33.
“We have plenty under that age and a few over.
“He is smack bang in the middle of that age bracket.”
Anderson replaces Craig Fowler, who will coach the Sharks’ under 17s side after two seasons in the senior coaching role.