In some much needed good news for the club, Kevin O’Donague has returned to Congupna as senior coach for next year’s Murray Football League season.By Damen Francis
In some much needed good news for the club, Kevin O’Donague has returned to Congupna as senior coach for next year’s Murray Football League season.
A longtime servant, O’Donague had originally departed at the end of last season to accept a position as assistant coach of Goulburn Valley Football League club Shepparton.
However, a tumultuous off-season in which a host of senior players, including Tyson Sidebottom, Marc Bullen and Jordan Hallam, have left The Road, prompted a change of heart.
‘‘I’ve been involved at Congupna for 30 years and I thought I needed to get away from the club for a while,’’ O’Donague said.
‘‘But the way everything has happened in the past few weeks I couldn’t leave .
‘‘I have a fair bit of respect with the junior players and I want to make sure they remain loyal to the club.’’
O’Donague replaces last year’s senior coach Mark O’Meara, who while unable to fully commit to the role, is expected to remain involved.
In his time at Congupna, O’Donague has coached at nearly every level, including the past five years as senior assistant.
He admitted he faced a major challenge to ensure the club avoided a major slide next season.
‘‘It’s not going to be easy when you lose a few high quality players, the attraction is not there for guys to come, but if we can retain our kids it is there,’’ he said.
‘‘My main objective is to maintain the kids and stabilise the club and if we’re fortunate enough to pick up a couple (of players) I can see us being quite handy as well.’’
While he was unable to name names, he said he was ‘‘talking to a few’’ and was committed to bringing senior players into the side.
Regardless, there will be a heavy reliance on the leadership of experienced players such as Marcus Drum, Heath Barton and Shane Bensch.
When asked if he was confident of avoiding further personnel losses, O’Donague said he and the club would ‘‘do our best’’.
The club has also invited past players and members and people in the community to take up a role at the club and has postponed its annual general meeting until December 5.
A Shepparton bus service that takes nightclub patrons home safely is celebrating its fifth anniversary of operation this weekend.
It’s been a long journey for Tim Roadley but his dream of creating a multi-sport endurance event on the Murray River is now going to be a reality.
It was a big day for Jye McNeil on Sunday, not only celebrating his 19th birthday, but riding a double at the Tatura and Shepparton Racing Club’s meeting, including the big one, the Vraca and Varapodio Italian Plate (1600 m), on the Gerald Egan-trained Jetconi.
Moama's Shirley Durrant has been wowing district pudding eaters for the past 23 years with her Christmas delights.
On Friday Rochester’s St Joseph’s Primary School opened a time capsule which was buried in the 1980s.
Waste collection in Campaspe Shire will change for two weeks during the festive season.
Valley Park Farms' egg production facility is expected to increase production and staff after a $100 000 Victorian Government grant.
Murchison’s Jane Spencer’s first exhibition It Just Dawned On Me will be on show in Shepparton in the first half of next year.
Lisa Milligan has started a new dog grooming business in Heathcote to help fund her Wild ABout Wildlife centre in Kilmore.
A group of volunteers have worked to revitalise the Cobram motorcross track to improve safety and attract new members to the club.
Federal Member for Farrer Sussan Ley says plans are in the works on how to get natural gas to Deniliquin.
New Transport Accident Commission research has revealed why some young country drivers habitually take risks on regional roads.
The Department of Environment and Primary Industries, Parks Victoria and Country Fire Authority will be performing planned burns in Goomalibee on Monday.
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