Coming into as successful a team as Seymour Lions would be a daunting process for anyone.
But as a coach, there is a plenty to live up to as you set the standard for the year ahead.
Lachlan Deane will have such a task, as he comes on board as the A and B-grade netball coach alongside current head coach Elle McDonald.
As McDonald’s commitments with the Australian Netball League and Melbourne Vixens grow, the premiership coach recently got in touch with fellow player and coach Deane to ask whether he would come into the Lions’ den in 2020.
With the club winning the A-grade netball flag in 2019, as well as having all five teams in finals contention, Deane said although he was daunted at joining such a successful side, he was also excited.
“It’s exciting that these players know how to win,” he said.
“Not much is going to change at the club. They have good structures and players and we’ve been able to keep most from last season.
“Elle first said to me, `we are looking at developing and continuing the winning culture we already have'.
“She just needs to get a bit of support as a coach and player who’ll be coming in and out of the structure.
“They were looking to bring in a fresh eye and continue the success they’ve had.”
With more than 12 years of playing and coaching experience, Deane will play a major role as coach on game days, as McDonald’s commitments could see her out of town and often interstate with ANL.
“The idea is for me to be the constant one there, and Elle will offer what she can,” Deane said.
“She’s not sure how much she will be able to give. The Vixens are also up and down with game days. We’ll see how it goes.
“But Elle and I have worked together before. We’re really hoping to complement each other.”
Although pre-season doesn’t officially kick off until next month, Deane has already had a chance to get acquainted with the club in a number of pre-Christmas training sessions.
“We had a session before Christmas and I was introduced to the group,” Deane said.
“There was a little bit of ball work, but I was there really observing and getting to know everyone.”
With trials held late last year, Deane said the club's young talent was also a drawign card in taking the gig.
“I was impressed with how seamless the trials went. The club has a good group of young kids knocking on door of the senior team,” he said.
“I really enjoy developing young talent, bringing them up and giving them that opportunity.
“It’s a big thing to bring those under-15 and 17 players up, seeing how they go and managing them through that.”
Also joining Seymour’s 2020 coaching staff is returning player Elizabeth Fuhrmeister, who will head up the club's B-reserve side. Fuhrmeister returns to the Lions from KDL club Nagambie.
Rounding out the coaching staff are returning leaders Courtney Aldous and Ellie O’Sullivan, who will head up their respective junior sides.