Baxter signs on for season

The co-coaches of the Narrandera Eagles, Jamie Grintell and Shaun Brooker.

The Eagles chief goal kicker from last season, Corey Baxter, has agreed to sign back on for another year with the Narrandera seniors.

“Corey Baxter signed back on last week, and we’ve signed a ruckman from Canberra, a bloke called Ben Perry,” explained co-coach Jamie Grintell.

“We thought we had him this year, but we missed out on him. “We’ll just keep chipping away, and hopefully sign a couple more on,” he said.

Mr Baxter kicked 36 goals over 17 matches for the Eagles last season, and also was third placed in the team’s best and fairest.

This year marks a change in the leadership of the seniors, with Mr Grintell and Shaun Brooker taking over as co-coaches.

The Eagles seniors’ team had been under the coachcaptaincy of Jarred Lane for the last two years. Just as with this year, there will be efforts to recruit players from Canberra to add a few senior players to the side.

There are already plans afoot for the coaches to return to Canberra this weekend to scout for more players.

Both coaches are keen to build rapport and cohesion with the Canberra players before the season starts.

“This year probably got better as the year went on. With me and Shaun, things are going to be a bit different. We’ve got things that we are working on,” Mr Grintell said.

“Hopefully we can get the Canberra lads down for some pre-season training and drills, so they understand what sort of stuff Jamie and I want to work on,” Mr Brooker said.

Both men have coached for Narrandera before, and they acknowledge that there will be a difference in their style and direction.

“We’d like to start winning,” Mr Grintell said. “A lot of our younger guys have played two and a half seasons of first grade now.”

“Some of them are already training, which is great that they’re going to take that next step in their footy, and that starts with winning,” Mr Brooker said.

“As we’re co-coaching we’re both non-playing,” Mr Grintell said.

“We’re looking forward to those challenges. I think you can see the game from a different point of view when you’re on the sidelines.”

“You’re not worried about what you need to be doing out there, so we can see the game, and we can coach players from the sides when they come off.

“We can give them a bit of structure that they can put into place,” he said.

So far there have been a few expected changes to The co-coaches of the Narrandera Eagles, Jamie Grintell and Shaun Brooker. next year’s team.

“We’ve lost a few, which is to be expected, but we’re hoping to get a few back from the year before,” Mr Grintell said.

“We’ve got a few kids who are choosing to have a gap year and work before uni – it’s so expensive these days. And it gives them the time to decide where they want to go and plan it out,” Mr Brooker said.

“We’ve got some kids in that boat; we’ve got some good kids coming up from the under 17s, and some good kids coming up from the under 15s into the under 17s,” he said.

The coaches are hoping to get a few pre-season games under the belt to develop the team to start the season fighting fit.

“We’ll aim to get them fit early,” Mr Grintell said. “Get them super-fit and rock-hard and we’ll see what happens.”

“As we know, as the season goes on everyone gets fitter, and it’s harder to catch up if you’re behind the eight-ball,” he said.

At present there is already one practice match locked in, against Ainslie Football Club from Canberra on March 23, with yet-to-beconfirmed plans still in the works for others.

“We’re both looking forward to it. We’ve both coached before and we’re keen to get back into it,” Mr Brooker said.

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