We are pleased to announce that both Josh Melican and Nick Mitchell will be returning next year to coach the senior women’s and the senior men’s sides respectively. The teams looked in top form at training this year, and we are excited for Josh and Nick to pick up where they left off when we return to pre-season training. It looks like both sides will be coming out strong next year, and we’re glad to have our players in very capable hands once again.
Unfortunately, we are also saying goodbye to two of our coaches this year. We are very sad to announce the departure of Marnee Silver, our women’s reserves coach, and Tom McCluskey, our men’s reserves coach.
Marnee joined our coaching team in 2019, stepping into the role of women’s reserves coach vacated by Josh as he moved into the senior position. She very quickly became an integral part of the club and coaching team, and we soon realised that she had undersold herself through her application process. She led with poise and composure, and her unbreakable faith in the playing group and their ability to succeed set the tone for their dominant 2019 season.
Marnee had the unenviable task of managing an average of 12 changes to the reserves side each week, with players being promoted to seniors and also rotated with the women’s thirds side in line with the women’s selection policy. In spite of this challenge, she went on to lead the talented women’s reserves side to a premiership in her first year at the club. In pre-season this year, Marnee and the reserves were looking strong again as they prepared to compete for their third premiership in as many years. Unfortunately, Marnee missed the chance to play for the premiership in 2020 due to COVID, and we’re sorry that she won’t be able to go back-to-back with the team in 2021.
VAFA newcomer Tom McCluskey took on the role of men’s reserves coach before preseason began in November last year. He joined the club following a 12-year history with the Watsonia Football Club in the Northern Football League, and a year playing football at Portarlington. Tom’s strong leadership and instructional skills were on show from the get-go, having developed as a coach in a range of leadership and coaching positions in previous years, and in his professional work as a teacher.
Nick and Tom clicked as the new coaching team at WBAFC, and were able to work together with the men’s playing groups to develop a strong squad going into the 2020 season. Despite having no connection to the club before his appointment, Tom – like Marnee – quickly embraced the ethos and culture of the West Brunswick footy club, placing a high value on community and the one-club attitude.
We wish Tom and his partner Siobhan the best of luck with their travels next year, and all the best for the arrival of their first child in December. Fortunately for the club we’re not losing Tom completely – and are hopeful that he will be around for enough of 2021 to see him pull on the black and white during the season.
We would like to extend our warmest thanks to Tom and Marnee for their service and contribution to West Brunswick. You have left us some very big boots to fill for 2021.
Keep your eyes out for 2021 coaching advertisements and further coaching announcements!