Sport

Mattingly takes coaching reins

By Kyabram Free Press

Kyabram Football Club coach Brad Edwards will be joined by a co-coach to lead the Bombers next season.

The Bombers have announced reigning Morrison medallist Mick Mattingly has been elevated to a co-coach role with Edwards and assistant coaches former captain Paul Burnett and star player Lachie Smith.

Kyabram president Peter Learmonth said the appointment of Mattingly would provide another on-field presence for Edwards and his assistants to work with.

“He (Mattingly) is a very impressive young man and has a lot going for him. I see him as a natural leader who will be very influential in his role and as a role model for the up and coming players in particular,” said Learmonth.

Mattingly joined the Bombers in 2018 from VFL club Coburg and made an instant impression with his hard-running work ethic and skills.

While playing his first season mainly on a wing, he developed into one of the league’s premier onballers last season, which resulted in him taking the league’s top individual award, the Morrison Medal.

Edwards, whose first season as coach to succeed triple premiership coach Paul Newman has been thwarted by the coronavirus pandemic, said he was really looking forward to working with Mattingly to keep the Bombers’ current elevated status intact.

“His appointment will spread the leadership role, particularly for season training. He’ll also be another onfield leader and voice and it will take his footy and responsibility to another level,” Edwards said.

Mattingly said he was looking forward to the challenge of coaching in a playing role.

“I’ve got a really good relationship with Brad (Edwards) and can see myself helping the younger players in particular transition into regular senior players over the next few years,” he said.

While the season for most GVL players is now in mothballs, it may not be the case for Mattingly.

With the blessing of Edwards and the club he has headed back to his home Riverina town of Wagga to play the season with his brother at the Turvey Park club where he spent two years playing senior football as a gifted teenager.

He has already played in a practice match at Turvey Park in anticipation of the season start on July 18.

But the lockdown of the Victoria-NSW border has put his plans in jeopardy.