WARRNAMBOOL and District league club Nirranda is confident Aidan Cole is the man to spearhead its rise up the football ladder.
The Blues, in the midst of a much-improved campaign, yesterday announced they had re-signed the rookie coach for a second year.
Cole had insisted on a one-year deal when he arrived at Nirranda from Cobden, wanting to fully work out whether coaching was for him.
But the encouraging signs from his young side and his comfort in the role prompted him to accept an offer to coach on next season.
Onballer Nathan Couch will remain as assistant coach for a third year. The former Terang Mortlake footballer joined the club before the 2013 season.
“I always had a feeling I wanted to do it for two years but I said one at the start to make sure coaching was going to be my thing. I’m right into it,” Cole said.
“I knew I was always wanting to coach, I thought this was the time. You never know until you get in and have a go if it’s your thing or not.”
Cole said the Blues’ committee had been supportive ever since he put pen to paper last September.
“They’ve been great. Right from the word go they’ve said ‘pretty much whatever you say, we’ll back you in any way’,” he said.
The reappointment is a sign Nirranda officials can genuinely see progress in their bid to develop young footballers and eventually make finals. The Blues finished season 2013 with a 7-11 record, which earned them eighth spot. They were four matches behind fifth-placed Allansford.
Eight rounds of season 2014 has yielded a 3-5 record, but there are major signs of improvement from a side with one of the youngest lists in the league.
The Blues matched Dennington for effort and led Kolora-Noorat and Merrivale at half-time of their past two games.
Their record could improve with lower-table rivals East Warrnambool (twice), Deakin University and Russells Creek to come after Allansford tomorrow.
“Earlier on we lacked that gel. I said a while ago we’ve got a fair few new players in the side that we’ve recruited,” Cole said.
“The past few weeks the team has come together and knows where everyone is moving and how we want to play our game style.
“It’s a little bit unfortunate against those good sides we haven’t been able to run out the last quarter.”
Nirranda president Anthony Foster said the club had hoped Cole would coach again in 2015.
“We were waiting to see if he was happy and we were happy. He enjoyed doing it,” Foster said.
“It was always our intention. You can’t do everything in 12 months, which every coach will tell you.
“We were comfortable when we appointed him and we’re still very comfortable. Nothing has changed on our behalf.”