NEWLY re-signed Camperdown coach Phil Carse believes emerging midfielder Cam Spence’s commitment will encourage others to dedicate themselves to the Magpies’ cause in 2018.
Carse will remain at the Magpies’ helm for a fourth Hampden league season after inking a new one-year deal on Wednesday night.
The creative midfielder-forward, who announced his decision to the playing group and supporters on Thursday night, initially signed at Camperdown on a three-year deal.
Carse, 32, will work closely with assistant coach Cam Spence, 21, as the Magpies try to lift themselves back into finals contention.
“It is great Cam is committed – he is one of the best up and coming players in the league,” he said.
“It shows he has a bit of faith in what’s happening in the club and I think a lot of other players will follow suit because of him.”
Carse said Spence – a Hampden interleague representative with pace and an ability to hit the scoreboard – had impressed with his eagerness to improve his leadership credentials.
“It’s amazing how far he’s come as a footballer and a person as well,” he said.
“He’s really developed and matured. He has a fantastic football brain and is more confident expressing his views to the group.”
Spence said he was relishing the chance to dip his toe into coaching at an early age.
“I was assistant coach this year as well,” he said.
“I like being under Phil and learning a bit more about dealing with players, structures and preparing properly for a match.”
Spence said the Magpies’ age demographic also appealed.
“Taking a look at the list, there’s not many players over 23,” he said.
“I feel a lot of the young guys have taken a lot of big steps this year.”
Spence, who spent time at Nothern Territory Football League club Waratah and trained with VFL outfit Werribee in the pre-season, said he was content with his onfield output after overcoming a hamstring injury.
“I had four games off and then sat down in the (forward) pocket there and eased my way back into it instead of going out and doing it again like last time,” he said.
“I haven’t had any problems since I got orthotics.”
Father-of-three Carse said he weighed up his coaching future but “felt we had a bit of unfinished business here”.
The Magpies will miss finals in 2017 after the former NEAFL footballer led them to September action in his first two seasons.
“It didn’t feel like the right to finish at Camperdown,” he said. “I want us to be more successful than we have been.”