Wodonga Raiders building from ground up
Wodonga Raiders coach Ken Stevenson believes the injection of youth will hold the Ovens and Murray club in good stead as it attempts to re-emerge as a finals force.
Stevenson said the signing of Ben Klemke as co-coach would have huge spin-offs and declared the club was in a significantly stronger position than it was 12 months ago. “Everyone probably thinks we are going ordinary but we have been planning for the future,” Stevenson said. “I’m a builder so I believe in the foundations and you have to build from the ground up. “To get two young coaches in Ben and Trent (Castles) is exciting. “It’s exciting because they bring new ideas and are both key position players. “For the last six months we have been putting together our football department and building it from the ground up. “We have a new football operations manager, new recruitment committee and it’s coming together really well.”
Stevenson said it was always his preference to have co-coaches and is looking forward to working with Klemke who trumps Lavington coach James Saker and Keith Williams, who coached Rutherglen in 1949 as a 22-year-old, as the league’s youngest coaches. “I always wanted to do it that way and it was very close to happening this season,” he said. “I’m 47 and the way I look at is that I’m good in a lot of areas. But the young guys bring fresh ideas and are the future of the club. “I’m there to guide and help but I’m not going to be there in the long term. “What I really want to do as a coach is bring long-term success to the club. “And I felt by bringing in two young coaches to help and some more fresh faces that we will sign down the track as the best way to do that.”
Stevenson revealed the club has re-signed 20-players including key players Jack Melrose and Brock Knights. “When I came to the club in October last year we had no players signed,” he said. “We now have 20 re-signed including Melbourne imports Dean Limbach, Michael Steven and Dean Giles. “Our three Melbourne boys originally signed for two years so that is massive for us. “I think our list is actually better than people give it credit for.“If you look at our quarter by quarter performances we have won a lot of quarters. “We just can’t sustain it for a game because we are so young. “But it is a terrific start.”
Article courtesy of the Border Mail