TROY Robinson knows both the elation of winning on grand final day and the bitter disappointment of losing a decider, so when he lines up for the Bathurst Bushrangers next season it is no secret which experience he will be hoping for.
However, his bid for premiership glory in 2019 will be a little different. Next season Robinson will seek success as both a player and a coach.
Robinson will join forces with Steve Grundy to coach one of the two senior outfits the Bathurst Bushrangers will field in the Central West AFL competition.
“I thought I’d be able to give a new outlook on it. I’ve come up from Vic and had a year here, so I thought I might be able to contribute a few new ideas,” Robinson said.
“It’s a pretty successful club and Steve has been pretty successful with his coaching, so he’ll be the mentor,” he added with a laugh.
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Grundy was the man who coached Robinson this year in his first campaign as a Bushranger. Prior to that he played in the Golden Rivers Football League for Wandella, a team which won the 2017 premiership with a crushing 16-17-113 to 2-8-20 victory over Ultima.
Robinson very nearly won a grand final with the Bushrangers Rebels too, but a final quarter rally from the Orange Tigers saw them scrape home by three points.
It is a defeat which hurt, but Grundy says it will act as motivation come next season.
“That grand final was an amazing day, but obviously we didn’t get the result, so there’s always going to be that feeling of unfinished business,” he said.
“I was hoping next season we could get together the strongest group of coaches possible and I think we’ve done that.
“I feel like our group is at an age where they are as good a footballer as they’re ever going to be. They are all at that prime age, so if we can get the right people in charge and get both teams headed in the right direction, I think that the sky is the limit.”
The second of the Bushrangers outfits will be coached by Tim Hunter and Matt Archer.
Two years ago they won a premiership together as members of the Bushrangers Outlaws outfit, Hunter captaining that side while Archer was one of the coaches.
The duo are excited to once again try and hoist the CWAFL trophy together.
“We’ve worked well together in the past, so we thought we’d give it another go,” Hunter said.
“It’s probably our time to step up in taking on that coaching role together. I think we do lead quite well on the field, but I think it’s important we lead through coaching as well.”
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Archer did not coach in 2018, but he said he missed that aspect of football season. He is excited to do so again next year.
“I have that passion for coaching. I didn’t coach this year, I captained, but that passion and desire never left obviously because I’m back a year later,” he said.
“We’ve already had pretty in depth discussions about what we’d like to see and as Tim said, we’ve had that good partnership before. We get along well, we don’t always agree, but we work well together.”
The Bathurst Bushrangers will start pre-season training on Wednesday at George Park 2 from 6pm.