Matt Walder has stepped down from his role as Morningside Senior Coach.
Following the Panthers shock loss in round 18 that saw them miss the QAFL finals, a mutual decision between club and coach was reached, and they parted ways.
“In relation to how we sat at the end of the year, it wasn’t the result we were after. After being 5-0 at the start of the year, we placed ourselves in a spot where we shouldn’t have been challenging in the last round,” Walder said.
“It was how I was feeling as much as getting a feel that maybe 100 per cent of the support wasn’t there, and I made the decision to step away.”
After making the call in the days following round 18, the dust has now settled, and Walder says it’s a decision he is comfortable with.
“Yes it is, and it was probably a mutual thing as well, in terms how things transpired,” he said.
“At the end of the day, there were a number of things that probably conspired against us at certain stages, but by the same token, we beat all three top teams. If you look at that, you probably think if we snuck into the finals we could have done some damage, but there was a lot more that happens in and around a footy club in a season, instead of the raw figures.
“I think there are a number of areas within the football department where we underperformed and underachieved, and that goes right from the top including myself.”
Morningside Football Club President, Dave Diamond, thanked Walder for his time at the helm.
“Matt delivered a lot while with us and sometimes the end result doesn’t reflect what is built below the waterline,” Diamond said.
“The club appreciates Matt’s decision, and now we are driving towards regaining our position in the senior QAFL finals campaign for 2017.
As for what the future holds, there is still a bit to play out from both camps.
“I’m always thinking, but there is nothing concrete, and nothing set in stone. There is obviously still a footy season to be played out for a few, and I’ll weigh up what best suits me going forward, but at the moment I still want to coach.
“At this stage of the game, I won’t be lost to football or coaching,” Walder said.
For Morningside, finals football in 2017 is item number one, and they are putting the steps in place to achieve that.
“While from a senior viewpoint the year came to a disappointing end, we do have a number of extremely strong underlying fundamentals that we believe will deliver a hard and fast return to senior football finals,” Diamond said.
“The reserves team is playing great football, there is some real long term talent performing well and we are into the Grand Final next week.
“Over the past four months a detailed football strategy review has been completed that takes into account the changing face of Queensland football and the resultant actions will ensure the club substantially grows in both on and off field performances and we are also very close to a major infrastructure upgrade; so the future looks very bright indeed.
“The club wishes Matt well for the future and for football endeavours he may embark upon in the future.”
By Andrew Wiles