OUTGOING Port Fairy coach Brett Evans is confident new mentor Daniel Nicholson can lift the Seagulls to greater heights in 2018.
Evans took the Hampden league battler to three successive finals series, improving their standing each season.
He led them to an elimination final in 2015, a preliminary final the following year and a grand final on Saturday.
Nicholson will take over desperate to help the Gardens Oval club end a premiership drought which will enter a 60th season following their 21-point grand final loss to Koroit.
“I think most of them will be staying for sure. That’s why he was such a great appointment I thought, because Dan will be able to keep the group together,” Eavns said.
“James Vickers tried his hardest today and Sandy (Robinson) but if I was coaching, that’s who you have to target is a big, strong ruckman.”
Evans said he was proud of the Seagulls’ efforts against a well-drilled Saints’ outfit.
“It’s tough but we were in the game the whole time and at times when we’ve played Koroit they’ve blown us away in a quarter and they’ve given us no chance,” he said.
“Today we really stuck with them.”
Evans will remain involved at Port Fairy.
“It’s a bit of a different football club, you have guys travelling and that, but at the end of the day, they love the club as much as anyone,” he said. “I want to read about blokes like your Joshy Dwyers. I want to make sure they really work hard on their footy and go further.”