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Makepeace to coach Elmore

Elmore has signed former Mathoura coach Ben Makepeace as the Bloods' reserves coach.

LUKE MCMANUS January 15, 2014 4:04am

Ben Makepeace

Former Mathoura coach Ben Makepeace is the latest recruit to arrive at Elmore, signing on as the Bloods’ reserves coach for season 2014.

Overlooked in favour of Mick McInnes for what would have been his fourth season at the Cutters, Makepeace said he was looking forward to making an impact at his new club.

Makepeace joins Elmore’s rejuvenated coaching panel and, alongside newly appointed senior coach Stephen Arthur, will look to turn the Heathcote and District Football League club’s fortunes around.

‘‘Improvement will be the main focus,’’ Makepeace said.

‘‘Elmore didn’t have the best of years last season so I’m hoping we can turn it all around.’’

Makepeace seems almost drawn to embattled football clubs.

After reaching the preliminary final in his first year with Mathoura, Makepeace experienced a tough stint in 2012 and at the helm in 2013, when the Timbercutters managed just two wins in two seasons of football.

An exodus of players led to a winless 2012, handing the Picola and District Football League club its first wooden spoon since the league split into the north-west and south-west divisions in 2009.

Makepeace arrives at Elmore in the wake of a miserable 2013 season in which the senior side managed just one victory on top of the unwanted wooden spoon.

Elmore’s reserves finished second last.

‘‘Obviously it’s no good losing any matches of footy,’’ Makepeace said.

‘‘But there’s also a great sense of achievement when you turn things around. I get a lot out of watching players grow and improve as they play more and more senior footy.

‘‘I hope we can push forward and improve but time will tell.’’

Makepeace said while he was disappointed not to continue on at Mathoura, the time was right to move on and further his coaching credentials.

‘‘I applied for the senior coaching role but missed out so I decided to look elsewhere,’’ Makepeace said.

‘‘It’s always important for me to seek out more coaching experience. I wanted a new challenge and also to find a football club closer to Rochester, where I’m based.

‘‘I’ve met a few blokes already and will get introduced to more at our main training session (tonight).

‘‘Some blokes at Mathoura I’ve got to know pretty well and will miss playing footy with them, but when you have to go, you have to go. That’s footy.’’

Makepeace will have at least one familiar face at Elmore with Timbercutters teammate and brother-in-law Marty McKenzie also making the move.

The signings bolster a busy off-season for the Bloods which has seen experienced midfield duo Ty Parsons (senior assistant coach) and Ryan Hudson added to the fold.

According to the senior coach, Elmore also hopes to secure as many as 10 signatures before the start of the new season, when it will host Heathcote in round one on April 5.

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