OLD Collegians has appointed a double force to lead its fortunes next season.
Warrior stalwarts Nathan Forth and Jamie McKenzie will co-coach the Warrnambool and District league club, replacing Michael Sargeant.
The first-time senior coaches are both former club captains and have coached in different capacities.
Forth, 30, spent the past two seasons as an assistant to Sargeant, while McKenzie, 28, has coached the Warriors at under 14 and reserves levels.
The pair are confident they can build on an already-strong relationship and lead Old Collegians up the ladder.
“We’ve played together for a while now and can feed off each other,” McKenzie said.
“Nathan has excellent onfield leadership with his attack on the ball and the way he goes about it.
“I hope to bring more communication with the players and direction for them.”
Forth, a two-time club best and fairest winner, said he was excited about the challenge ahead.
“It was the next thing for me to do and Jamie put his hand up to do it jointly and that’s more enticing because of the time (commitment) factor,” he said.
“Our number one goal is to play finals so that’s at the top of the list but we really need to grow as a unit and club from the juniors up.”
The new mentors both placed an emphasis on youth.
McKenzie said he would call on his junior coaching experience to fast-track the Warriors’ next generation.
The forward said Jacob Lacy, Indiana Phillips, Jordan Wallace, Jayden Brooks and Jesse Cruickshank had all tasted senior football and “had the potential to step up” and labelled league under 17s best and fairest winner Joe Kenna as a potential senior debutant.
“I’m looking forward to working with the young players at Collegians,” he said.
“It’s a pretty exciting time with ‘Sarg’ bringing the juniors through this year.
“I have been at the club since 2005 and there hasn’t been a huge influx.
“This year there were four or five and I am excited to develop those players.”
Forth said he enjoyed the teaching aspect of coaching.
“(We will) let every player know how to play their roles,” he said.
Forth and McKenzie have played at Old Collegians since 2004 and 2005 respectively.
“Playing with mates, that’s what it’s all about,” Forth said.
Warriors president Mark Toleman said the club was thrilled with the appointments. He said the pair had “put the runs on the board”.
“They have both been leaders for us, they’re former captains,” he said.
Old Collegians will start pre-season training next Monday.
Nirranda is the only WDFNL club yet to appoint a coach for next season.