Warrnambool appoints Matt O'Brien as coach for the 2018 Hampden league season.

NEXT CHAPTER: Incoming Blues coach Matt O'Brien (second from left) is excited to work with Dan Weymouth, Sam Cowling and Simon Perry. Picture: Justine McCullagh-Beasy
NEXT CHAPTER: Incoming Blues coach Matt O'Brien (second from left) is excited to work with Dan Weymouth, Sam Cowling and Simon Perry. Picture: Justine McCullagh-Beasy

THE honour of leading a club with a rich history is not lost on new Warrnambool coach Matt O’Brien.

The former Deakin University Sharks mentor was announced as the Blues’ new leader at training on Wednesday night.

O’Brien, 51, said he was excited to step up into the main role after working for the Hampden league outfit as an assistant coach in 2017.

The father-of-five, who works in the education system and travels around the region, will have support from new senior assistant coach Sam Cowling and under 18 mentor Dan Weymouth.

O’Brien, who moved to Warrnambool in 2000 and led Deakin University to back-to-back Warrnambool and District grand finals, said the Blues were a club “with a rich history”.

“It always surprises me when I see the back of the training jumpers and it’s got 1861,” he said.

“Even when I was playing in Melbourne and really didn’t know much about the Hampden league I’d heard about Warrnambool in the ‘80s, so to take on this role is an honour.”

O’Brien said his teaching background influenced his coaching philosophies.

“I am about helping people understand the game better and their strengths and attributes and then trying to move each individual forward a little bit,” he said.

Warrnambool chairman Simon Perry said the Blues believed O’Brien had the attributes to develop their list and work well with their next generation.