NEWLY signed Port Fairy coach Dan Nicholson hopes to emulate outgoing Seagulls mentor Brett Evans when it comes to inspiring players.
The former AFL-listed footballer will lead the resurgent Hampden league club for the next two seasons after announcing his decision to take on the coaching role at training on Tuesday night.
Nicholson’s commitment will take his tenure at the Seagulls to five seasons.
Father-of-three Evans will step aside at the end of the 2017 season to concentrate on family after three finals series in his three years at the helm.
Nicholson, 26, said he had learned from Evans’ public speaking skills and hoped it would help him in his new position.
“’Evo’ is a great talker. There’s no one better to get you charged up and ready to run out,” he said.
“I think that’s one phase that I really struggled with but I am working at it.
“It will be a different kettle of fish obviously talking at the breaks.”
Nicholson said he felt entrenched at Port Fairy after arriving at the seaside club as an assistant fresh from a 32-game stint at Melbourne three years ago.
“I said I wanted to do an apprenticeship under someone and ‘Evo’ was the perfect candidate for it,” he said.
Evans said he would remain involved.
“I’ve been coaching for 15 out of the last 16 years, so it’s a long time,” he said.
“I’ll be there as support to Dan in any way I can be but it will be nice just to come and watch the boys play.
“I am certainly not going anywhere. It’s a family decision for me. (My wife) Sarah’s done a fantastic job with the three kids and it just takes its toll.”
Evans said Nicholson’s work ethic would lift the Seagulls to greater heights.
“It’s a strong group now and if he keeps that group together with his professionalism and work ethic a lot of these guys will learn so much about how hard it is to achieve the levels that Dan’s got to,” he said.
“I think the most important thing for the club is that he works really well with the junior guys and I am positive that he’ll bring those juniors up and it will be a really strong senior team for years to come.”
Port Fairy sits second on the Hampden league table with a round to play as it strives to win its second flag.
“The journey’s not over yet and hopefully we’ve got another five weeks to go and we’ll be enjoying it and working as hard as we can in that time,” Evans said.