MERRIVALE has reappointed Stephen Kelson for a third season as senior football coach.
After the Tigers reached the Warrnambool and District league preliminary final this year, they are convinced a flag is just around the corner. And Kelson hopes to be the man to lead them to it.
“We would like to be there-abouts again,” he told The Standard yesterday.
“We had a pretty good season and achieved above what we considered to be par. We’d like to improve on that next year.”
Kelson said there was a solid group of young talent bursting through the ranks — some who are yet to lose a game in their football careers after breezing through under 14½ and under 17s.
Teenagers such as Seamus Blake, Otto Opperman, Manny Sandow, Jordan Brown, Tahi Pompey “and five or six others” are sound indications that the Tigers will be flourishing for years to come.
“There’s and exciting group of kids coming through,” Kelson said.
“With the addition of a few more senior players, we could be in a really good position.”
Kelson said the retention rate of the senior list should be “very high” and Merrivale’s recruiting drive was only just getting under way.
“We’ve only started getting on the phones now,” he said.
“But we don’t look to lose anyone.”
Tigers committee member Paul Fish said the club was always confident Kelson would extend his tenure to three seasons.
Kelson has the proven credentials of a coach any team would dream to have at the helm — with successful stints at South Warrnambool, Old Collegians and Merrivale in the late 1990s.
“We’re really happy with him,” Fish said. “He took us to the preliminary final so he’s taking us in the right direction.
“We’ve got a great crop of kids coming through and we know he’s the right person to guide them.”
Fish said the contract was for one season, with the option of extension at the end of next year.
Wayne Ryan will officially step away from his role as president at the club’s general meeting