Bowls - New coach at Hill Top a familiar face

By Tyler Maher

Lee Farrell is back at Hill Top — this time as head coach of the Goulburn Valley Bowls Division outfit.

“I'm happy to be coming back in any capacity, but the coaching role is great as well,” Farrell said.

“Hill Top weren't quite there last year, but I think with a few ins we can really contend for the top four.

“Two years ago to now you can see the players we've brought in, but we need to be more committed to winning a premiership, not just turning up to play.

“I really think that Hill Top have been underachievers for a while now for the talent we've had.”

Farrell was with the Hillbillies in their 2018-19 campaign, and brings decades of bowling experience to his new role.

“I enjoyed the GV when I was last down, coming out of WA and the NT,” he said.

“I was very, very impressed with the standard of the GV, I think if I could put a side together out of the GV it would beat the WA state side. There's some very good blokes and bowlers.

“Hopefully I can bring something to the club from my 40-odd years of playing bowls across the country.

“I want to bring a commitment type of culture, I coached footy for 18 years, so I'll bring some of that mentality into it — if you train hard and you work hard the results will show in the end.”

Farrell hopes club members will be along for the ride.

“If they take up the challenge then Hill Top will be up and about,” he said.

“The club approach has to be from from the bottom up, but if you strengthen the top side it's going to flow back down the line.

“We need to develop a lot more commitment to training at Hill Top, it wasn't quite at the Shepparton Golf level when I was here last time, but you'd be surprised how much training makes a difference.

“We want to judge ourselves by Shepparton Golf because they've been the yardstick for so long, and practice makes perfect in any sport.”

Hill Top will be buoyed by a number of other inclusions alongside Farrell — with more potentially on the way — and he is looking forward to the challenge of delivering some success to the club.

“Denzel (David Cartwright) and his family are playing, that's a big plus,” Farrell said.

“Russell (Locke) and Jarryd (Tinning) work every other weekend (as members of the police force), so we'll work with them to try and have at least one of them playing every week.

“It's been more than 30 years since Hill Top won a (top tier) premiership and that's a long time between drinks, so hopefully we can challenge (for a flag).”