Luke Flanagan knows he has big shoes to fill.
The recently elected Kempsey Saints Football Club president takes over from Matt Baker, who had been in charge for more than 10 years, and had helped build the green and white into one of the largest clubs on the Mid North Coast.
However, after a year of working alongside Baker as the vice-president, Flanagan claims he’s ready to take the club forward.
“I recognise I am following in the footsteps of someone who has gone above and beyond for this club,” Flanagan told the Argus.
“I am humbled and honoured to step in and take on the role. I know what is expected of me and I will do my best and will always be approachable.”
Flanagan claims the club is in a great position and there won’t be any drastic changes after his appointment but instead he has taken on the role to ensure the culture of the club remains intact.
“We are a community within a community,” Flanagan said.
“All of the members of our club receive support from one another and we will always rally for members who need an extra bit of help.
“Our culture is about getting the best out of each other while still having fun at the same time.”
Saints’ registration numbers at a junior and senior level have grown in recent years, but a first grade finals victory has continued to elude them.
However, Flangan believes with Baker taking on the coaching coordinator role full-time and other programs put in place, a premiership victory isn’t far away.
“We want to increase the skill level in every age group, by putting lots of coaching programs in place and working together to build performances,” Flanagan said.
“This will lead to each team improving from juniors to seniors and I believe we have a first grade premiership in us within the next couple of years.
“While we want to improve everyone’s skill levels, we don’t want to impact the player’s enjoyment – that’s still the priority.”
Registrations for the upcoming season will open soon and Flanagan said the club has an “open door policy” and everyone is welcome to join.
“We can never have too many players, coaches and volunteers, so if you’re considering joining then please do,” he said.
Flanagan’s association with Saints started as a junior player. After years away from the sport, Flanagan returned to help coach his eldest son and play and coach a men’s senior side.
Flanagan soon found himself on the committee before he stepped into the vice-president role in 2018.
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