It's defence first for Russells Creek father-son coaching panel

Footy's family bond:
Bernie and Heath Moloney.
Picture: Christine Ansorge
Footy's family bond: Bernie and Heath Moloney. Picture: Christine Ansorge

RUSSELLS CREEK father-son coaching duo Bernie and Heath Moloney are plotting a ‘defensive first’ game plan to help the Kangaroos rise back up the Warrnambool and District Football Netball League ladder.

“When you are a bottom side working your way up, defence comes first,” Bernie, an experienced mentor, who will coach from the bench, said. 

“We have been doing a lot of work on when we haven't got the footy and how are we going to get it back.

“An attacking mindset is what everyone's got, everyone loves to get a kick so it’s really difficult to get a team to change the way they have been playing so that defence becomes number one.

“The only way we are going to work up the ladder is being a defensive side first and then that attacking side will come naturally.” 

Heath, a playing coach in his second year at the helm, said using the ball properly had also been a focus for the Kangaroos during the pre-season.

“We have focussed on hitting our targets, we want to avoid bombing it down the line and hope every time someone is going to get it,” he said.

“It will be short kicks, hitting targets and keeping possession of the ball, whether it takes 20 kicks to get down the ground that is how we hope to move the football.”

Bernie said the Kangaroos had been targeting some deficiencies in their off-season recruiting.

“Last year we didn't have enough tall timber to kick to so we have been really focussing on trying to get some tall targets,” he said. 

“Also getting some quality through the middle to help Andy McMeel so that we can spread the load a bit. We have targets in the mix, it’s just waiting for them to be signed up and ready to go.”

Bernie said youth would play a vital role in the Kangaroos’ revival.

“We have some of our young fellows coming through in the second and third years at senior level,” he said. “We are expecting them to have a big year as they continue to develop.”

Both Moloneys are relishing the opportunity to coach together for the first time.

Creek finished 2017 at the bottom of the table with two wins and 14 losses.