PORT Fairy coach Sarah McCorkell says she’s content to lead from the sidelines if it’s best for the Seagulls’ premiership chances.
The midcourter-goal attack watched the Seagulls dismantle South Warrnambool 60-40 in the Hampden league elimination final at Koroit on Sunday.
She will consider directing from the bench against North Warrnambool Eagles in Sunday’s first semi-final.
McCorkell said it helped her provide strong feedback to her players.
“To be honest, I just want the team to do well. Like any player, you want to be out there and doing it yourself but if my best position is helping these girls on the sidelines that’s where I will stay,” she said.
“I really enjoy it. I wanted to do it a bit more in the season but with player unavailability I probably didn’t get the chance to sit and watch what was working and what wasn’t working.
“It’s been great for me the last few weeks to have that opportunity to really watch the girls and then I can pinpoint why things are happening and can address it and fix it coming into the next match.”
McCorkell was thrilled with Port Fairy’s statement.
The Seagulls led early and were never threatened with their attacking end of Narelle Marsden (42) and Emily Forrest (18) a handful for the Roosters’ defence.
Carly Watson and Carley Thomas – a former goal shooter – were dynamic in the Seagulls’ back court.
McCorkell said Thomas’ late-season return was a boost for the team.
“She’s been amazing. She hasn’t played goal keeper for maybe five or six years,” she said.
“I do remember her days as a goal keeper and she was a bloody good one, so I thought when we’ve got Narelle and Em performing beautifully up the other end she’d slot back in nicely.
“We were just lacking height in defence and the top sides have some good height all over the court so you really need that presence there.
“I think the girls get a lot of confidence out of her being in the team.
“She is experienced and a great chick. You really need that vocal leadership and that’s what she brings to the team.”
McCorkell said the Seagulls would take confidence out of the convincing win after losing once and drawing with the Roosters throughout the home and away season.
“It was a beautiful way to start the finals. I think I was really proud as a coach,” she said.
“South is a good opposition but today we just came out firing and ready to go.”
South Warrnambool coach Mandy van Rooy has recommitted to the Roosters for 2019 and is excited about what they can achieve after returning to finals this season.
“I just said not to dwell on this loss too much because it doesn’t reflect how well they’ve played all year and how hard they’ve worked,” she said of her post-game speech.
“It’s hard to take and it’s hard to finish this way but they should be really happy with the way we’ve played.
“I am coaching again so hopefully we can keep this core group of girls together. As we saw today, Isabella Rea came up and played a full game and was amazing and got best on. These under 17 players who are coming we really want to develop them and turn them into senior players.”