A HANDS-ON role working with Allansford’s rising youngsters has lured new assistant coach Brendan Chatfield to the Cattery.
The 24-year-old has signed to work under new co-coaches Ben Holloway and Brett Membrey and will fill a key void as a middle-aged player on and off field.
A former Port Fairy, Old Collegians and Deakin University Sharks footballer, Chatfield has arrived with a host of experience and is expected to play an important role in the Cats’ coaching system.
Chatfield said he was thrilled to join the rebuilding Warrnambool and District football club.
“Definitely working with some of the juniors, the guys stepping up from under 17 level into the senior part is going to be exciting,” he said.
“I haven’t played a lot of football over the past two-and-half seasons – I was at Collegians playing alongside my brother and then with some mates at Deakin – but I probably haven’t played a full season since I was at Port Fairy.
"It’ll be very good to actually get back into training and to playing footy full-time again.”
Chatfield returned to football in 2015 after open heart surgery to fix a damaged tricuspid valve.
He played just eight games with friends at Deakin University Sharks last season due to work commitments.
Allansford co-coach Ben Holloway said the club was attracted to Chatfield’s strong personality.
“Brett and I are both very excited to have him on board. First and foremost, he’s a good person with a good character and at the same time he will bring experience to our club,” he said.
“He will help us promote that little bit of youth up through from the under 17s and because Brett and I are both first-time coaches, that added experience will be beneficial to us.”
Holloway admitted Chatfield expressed a strong interest in developing the youth stocks at the club.
“We see Brendan as a part of both our juniors and seniors and his role as an on-field leader will be important. He’ll take some training too and along with us, he’ll be a massive part of our coaching panel,” he said.
“We didn’t want to rush in to appoint somebody, we had to make sure we had the right man for the job. It might sound silly, but we didn’t necessarily want the best footballer.
“It was more about finding the right person for the job. Sometimes clubs can get carried away and appoint the wrong man who isn’t necessarily good for the club.”