GERARD FitzGerald says he intends to lead Hamilton Kangaroos into next season after his first year was cut down by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The legendary coach, who steered North Ballarat to three-straight VFL premierships between 2008 and 2010, was appointed last August in a major coup for the Melville Oval club.
FitzGerald was introducing a new-look training regimen - which included dedicating a Monday night to recovery and analysis and a Wednesday to skills and fitness - when coronavirus hit.
His first season in charge was put on ice permanently when the Hampden league voted to cancel its senior football and netball seasons a fortnight ago.
He told The Main Break podcast he was determined to coach again in 2021.
"We've had a meeting and it would be my intention to want to continue," FitzGerald said.
We've had a meeting and it would be my intention to want to continue.Gerard FitzGerald
"At the same time there's just a few things we need to tick off, if you want to say, or just get organised to then make sure that decision is a permanent one.
"My view is that we've started something and I'd like to continue. But, as I said, there's a few things we want to get organised and tidied up."
The 62-year-old, who is based between Ballarat and Derrinallum, felt the COVID-19 break meant both he and his players were able to be on the same page.
"By having the experience of last summer, I sort of feel like I'm better prepared for the input I can have in our environment," FitzGerald said.
"I also think the players have been able to get a bit more of an understanding of me and my type of coaching.
"Perhaps some of the changes we've made won't be changes next time around because we've had some experience with them."
FitzGerald was impressed with Hamilton Kangaroos' integrity. "The more I began to immerse myself into the environment, I found there were some very, very good people involved," he said.
"I wouldn't have accepted the position if that wasn't the case because I've always had a view that to be successful club on the field you have to be well organised off-field.
"The things that impressed me about the people I was working most closely with is that everything they had assured me or promised me for me to coach, they had either done it, or they were trying very hard to fulfill."
The former North Ballarat Rebels mentor said he was disappointed football and netball were unable to begin in 2020 but said he "totally understood" the reasons behind the decision.
"I thought one of the issues we would have was what did a return to football look like with health protocols," he said.
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