Originally written by PHIL HOLMES
THE search is over. Dartmoor, South West District Football League’s cellar dweller for season 2007, has signed 2005 South Gambier premiership player, Shaun Watson, as its coach for the upcoming season.
Watson, 30, most recently played in a premiership with Glencoe in the Mid South East Football League, filling out the role of assistant coach.
With premiership success following him wherever he goes, the key position player is hopeful and optimistic of good things to come for the Dartmoor Football Club.
“I’m stoked to get the job. It presented itself at the end of November and I had a few weeks to think about it,” Watson said.
“It’s a great opportunity for me and I’ll be working very hard over the next couple of months in terms of recruiting new players and getting training underway.
“There’s an air of excitement around the football club and I’m looking forward to being a part of it.”
Watson knows how to win premierships and although it’s his first stint as a senior coach, success and pride is something he wants to instil in the players right from the word go.
“I’ve prided myself on being in successful clubs throughout the years. I’ve come from a premiership winning team, so there’s no way I want to be at the bottom of the ladder again.
“Training is going to be hard work, but it will separate the people who do and don’t want to be part of a new era at the Dartmoor Football Club.
“From what I understand there’s a fair bit of talent amongst the group, but no one wanted to train last year so that’s where it all starts, at training,” he said.
Watson has already started recruiting for the club’s 2008 campaign and is positive in gaining more than a couple of quality players for the new season.
“I’ve spoken to a couple of blokes and I’m confident in getting them on board. There are others too but I’ll wait until after the new year, as football’s the last thing blokes want to talk about on over the Christmas holidays,” Watson said.
“With the current list, a couple of good quality recruits and some past players due to come back this year, things are looking good in my books.”
Club president, Tony Woodall, said the decision process for the club’s new coach has been a lengthy one, but he was confident they secured the right man.
“He has a good football background and has regularly been a part of premiership success, so he is the kind of bloke we need around the club.
“He has a lot of experience and is keen to lift the club off the bottom of the ladder. I know we have picked the right man for the job,” Mr Woodall said.
Watson, a key position utility, said the aim wasn’t just to win a couple of games for the year, believing the club, with hard work, will get instant success.
“The aim is to win three of the first five games and then we’ll see where we are at from there.
“It is really important to get the side away to a good start because if we get off on the wrong foot then it won’t take long for the boys to lose belief.
“With the lack of success over the past few years, it’s not hard to take the easy option and accept that it’s going to be another bad year, so we have to get that out of the system nice and early.
“If we can do that then we will start well,” Watson said.
Pre-season training will begin for the club on January 9 at the Dartmoor Recreation Reserve.
The Swans also host the Dartmoor Rodeo at the oval on February 9, the event is a major money spinner for the club and with all members involved, Mr Woodall is hopeful of a big day.
“A lot of the club’s funding comes from this event and everyone gets involved, which makes the day run so much smoother.
“We are getting the club back to where it should be. A success on and off the field,” Mr Woodall said.