Michael Coad says Mooroopna close to finding recipe to be a force

By Tyler Maher

Mooroopna is still adjusting the recipe when it comes to compiling a winning Goulburn Valley League list.

But a key ingredient is certainly luring former juniors, such Michael Coad, back into the fold.

Coad spent a number of years at Kyabram District League club Stanhope, but is back in the blue and white hoops and loving it this season.

‘‘I was at Stanhope for six years, but played all junior footy and all my footy leading up to that at Mooroopna,’’ Coad said.

‘‘(GVL football) is a lot quicker (now) that’s for sure. The size of the guys now aren’t big and stocky, they’re all mid-size and quite trim and they just run and carry, which has changed a lot since about seven years ago when I last played.’’

Turning 33 this year, Coad still has plenty of country football left in him, but is well aware of his age when chasing the next generation of Cats around at training.

‘‘I played footy with Trent (Freer), but he’d probably be the only one at the moment,’’ Coad said.

‘‘I’ve actually played footy with a lot of these guys’ Dads, so I am getting on a bit but I love it, I’m really enjoying it.

‘‘The ones that have come through and have been in the senior squad for the last couple of years are really starting to be our prime movers and good players now, so I think in the next year or two Mooroopna is going to be a very classy outfit with some very good juniors.’’

The key to future success for the Cats in Coad’s eyes is continuing to nurture the side’s junior talent, but also taking chances that present themselves like when Mooroopna had Seymour on toast this season, but fell to a one-point loss.

‘‘I think they need to get that belief back, honourable losses by one point aren’t good enough anymore, we can win these games,’’ Coad said.

‘‘It’s something we are going to instil and I think second half of the year there could be some big upsets and we can be winning some pretty good games.

‘‘(The young kids) are not just making up the numbers anymore, they’re actually playing some key roles on ball, on the wing and a couple of key defenders and a couple of key forwards — so they’re actually picked first every week.

‘‘And our recruiting has made our side even stronger and if we can keep the same side this year and add a little bit on next year, you’ll see us climbing the ladder quite quickly.

‘‘It’s a great time to be here, it’s a great place, a good family club and I couldn’t be happier.’’