Kempsey Saints have announced their coaches and begun their preparations for the upcoming season.
Matt Baker has been announced as the new coaching coordinator and he’s appointed the coaching staff for the Saints senior squads for 2018.
The two women’s sides will have the same masterminds at the helm with Amy O’Brien and Abby Baker to remain in charge of their respective teams.
Abby Baker led the Saints White team to a grand final appearance while O’Brien’s Green team were the minor premiers.
Abby Baker is still contemplating a move for tertiary education but if she remains in Kempsey she will continue her role as coach of Saints White.
Saints’ media officer Kevin Sinclair claimed it was an astonishing year for the women’s teams.
“It was an outstanding season last year with this grade fielding two teams for the first time which was due to the enthusiasm from the coaches,” Sinclair said.
“It was testament to their sporting attitude that saw them split the squad into two teams after winning the championship in 2016, this paid huge dividends with Saints finishing first and second (in the regular season).”
Saints enter the Premier League season for their ninth year in the competition. The club declared in 2010 they had a 10-year plan to get things right and Sinclair said the pressure is on the coaching staff to contest for a title this year.
Matt Baker gets the nod as the first grade coach for a second year while Sinclair will remain as his assistant.
“After a string of semi-final appearances in both grades over the past few years, it was a great achievement for the reserve grade side to win both the premiership and championship,” Sinclair said.
“Saints supporters would love to see both grades play on the last day of the season sometime soon.”
The Northern Men’s outfits will again be lead by Luke Flanagan and James Brady. The two are ready to tackle another campaign and Sinclair is optimistic despite neither side reaching the semi-finals last year.
“The grade has the players and the back up quality of junior players to push further this season,” Sinclair said.
“After the disappointment of missing a grand final by a single goal in 2016, the Flanagan led Green Machine looks to have its core of players returning.”
The club is hoping to field a second side as they did last year and Brady is poised to lead that team.
Saints’ pre-season training begins on Tuesday January 30 at 6pm at Eden St Oval. Saints juniors from 15-years and older are welcome to intend and make themselves available for senior football.