SEQAFL coaches up for challenge

Seven coaches will make their debut with new clubs in the 2013 Allied Pickfords Cup.

Round one generally has plenty of player debuts, but this year the Allied Pickfords Cup openers will see seven new coaches step up to the plate.

Burleigh, Coolangatta, Maroochydore, Sandgate, UQ ,  Western Magpies and Wilston Grange all appointed new senior coaches for this season, meaning that half of the teams have new leaders this season.

Of the other coaches, both Springwood and Palm Beach Currumbin appointed their coaches in 2012, while Surfers Paradise’s Beau Zorko was made Demons coach in late 2011.

Only Noosa’s Wayne Fletcher and Mayne’s Mitch Ferguson have been in the top job for more than two years.

While they might be starting in new jobs, the new coaches are certainly no rookies when it comes to calling the shots.

Maroochydore’s Brett Maloney has come across from Noosa, where he coached seniors and Under-18s, as well as the Country Stockmen side.

UQ’s new coach, Warren Vines, arrives at the Red Lions after a year’s break from coaching. Most recently, he was an assistant at the Western Magpies.

Sandgate’s Rob Dickfos was heavily involved in the Redcliffe under-16s and the junior program.

Dickfos is a fixture in the Brisbane North footy scene, having coached Mayne and the Northern Eagles as well as his involvement in junior footy.

New Western Magpies coach, Craig St John, was an assistant at the club last year and is confident he the club can continue its success into 2013.

“If we can be in the top four running into finals, then anything can happen,” St John said.

“In the last half of the year we get some guys back from injuries and we’ll be nice and fresh.”

Shane Williams, the new top dog at Burleigh, is another in-house hire, having coached the Bombers reserves in recent years.

Williams said his familiarity with the group would help ease the transition into the senior coaching role this season.

“I have a rapport with the young fellas and coached them for the last two years,” Williams said.

“I’m a big believer in bringing the youth through and I’m sure that they see that as a plus for them in becoming senior players.”

Coolangatta’s Daniel Hawkins takes the reins at the Blues this season after the early departure of Col Welch.

Wilston Grange will have a playing coach in Matt Trewhella for 2013.

Trewhella led the Under-18 side to the finals in 2012 in his first year at the Gorillas.

The new batch of coaches will have their first 2013 hit outs in the coming weeks, as the Allied Pickfords Cup sides prepare for pre-season practice matches.

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