KAINE Mercovich will draw on tactical nous from his time at SANFL level to help Port Fairy climb to the Hampden league ladder.
The Seagulls unveiled Mercovich as their first major signing of the summer this past week. The midfielder-forward will be a playing assistant coach to Winis Imbi in 2022 as the club plots a rise off the bottom of the ladder.
The carpenter, who moved back to the south-west from Adelaide in mid-November, said he'd tap into learnings from his state league stint as a coach.
"It's more just about how important structures are around the ball itself," Mercovich told The Standard.
"There's so much rebound football (in the SANFL) as you see in the AFL as well.
Hopefully we can implement a few things where we're able to turn the ball over a bit more and score from there.- Kaine Mercovich
"It's all about getting turnovers and being able to create offence off the turnovers themselves. Hopefully we can implement a few things where we're able to turn the ball over a bit more and score from there.
"We want to use more of the oval rather than just going straight up and down lines and whatnot."
Mercovich said simplifying structures would be key but felt there were a number of things Port Fairy could implement from the SANFL to improve.
He said he and Imbi had been crafting the next phase of pre-season and meshed well as a coaching unit.
"He's a fantastic fella. I don't reckon I've heard anyone have a bad word to say about him," Mercovich said.
"At the same time, I think he's done the coaching course they get all the assistants in the AFL and the state league coaches to do.
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"He's basically gone through everything I've been through last year which makes it that bit easier. He sort of knows where the state league teams come up with and how they want to play.
"It makes it a lot easier communicating my thoughts and to alter and change them to suit the boys down here."
Mercovich said his time at North Adelaide, which finished fourth in the SANFL in 2021, had improved his football.
"When you get to that level, everyone is a good player," he said.
"I think the thing that separates players is knowing the structures.
"As you climb up through the rans all the teams are so structured. It's about understanding your role and being able to execute your skills within that position.
"It was great just to be able to learn... Just being able to learn from people who knew more than me and had been in the system for a long time."
Port Fairy will play premiership fancy North Warrnambool Eagles at Gardens Oval in round one on April 2.
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