PROVIDING a pathway to senior football is the goal for Camperdown's newly-appointed under 18.5 coaches.
The Magpies will return to the Hampden league competition in 2023 after a lack of numbers - a persistent problem for that group throughout their junior journeys - forced it to withdraw this season.
Luke O'Neil, 24, and Matt Absalom, 30, have signed on to lead the team in its comeback season.
It's expected a large group of under 16 top-age players will graduate to the under 18.5s.
Club president Aaron Sinnott said Camperdown was confident it would have strong numbers in all age groups - Auskick, under 12, under 14, under 16 and under 18.5 - in 2023.
Absalom, a teacher at St Mary's Primary School in Colac, said he wanted to play a role in the Magpies' future.
"It was disappointing not to get a side on the park (this year) but I guess when something like that doesn't go ahead, it makes you hungrier to try and get something happening again," he said.
"There's always a silver lining - it's given us a little bit more time to prepare and put a bit of a plan together to do things a little more differently to make it as exciting and fun and also as professional as we can."
The Camperdown-based Absalom, who spent two years teaching in Kununurra in remote Western Australia, said the aim as to help players reach their potential.
"Mick Royal did a fantastic job with them in the under 16s," he said.
"Luke and I want to get them ready for senior footy. We're starting to put those systems in place, just training standards, communication and that respect that is needed.
"We're also setting goals with those kids, whether it's to play senior footy or just get the Sherrin spinning the right way."
O'Neil, who is part of the Magpies' senior team, said he wanted to give back to the club after helping the under 16 team this year.
"Having an under 18 team on the park is something a club needs for the future of the seniors and the reserves," he said.
"We want to see kids out there playing footy. You get the satisfaction of seeing blokes develop.
"It is good to see home-grown talent become senior players."
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