ORANGE Emus are hoping the same-same but different approach will trigger a Blowes Clothing Cup revival of sorts at Endeavour Oval.
The club unveiled its coaching team for the upcoming season and, with Andrew Logan again in charge as head coach with Graydon Staniforth, Mal Nutt and Paul Ringland assisting, not a lot has changed at the top.
Back after debuting with the clipboard in 2013, Mitch Dansey will again mentor second grade while Barry Ruddy will coach thirds and Ross Beasley colts.
By and large, it’s the same coaching team which helped the club to two finals appearances across four grades last winter.
Given that, adopting a largely identical structure to the one that saw the club also finish with the wooden spoon in first grade might seem risky to most, but Logan was confident one significant change will usher in a new dawn at the club.
“I think what we can do this year is just have some early preparation,” Logan said, with some members of the club beginning pre-season prior to Christmas.
The club’s first formal pre-season run was on Monday.
“Last year was a bit of a watershed year, as I’ve said before. We got a late start last year and we really didn’t have our coaching team in place until almost March, and that was pretty much when we started trials,” Logan continued.
“It reflected in our early games; we lost our first five, six games of the year.
“We know how each other works, we know a lot of the players, our systems are in place from last year ... I think it makes sense to keep the same group together if we can.”
Logan said the club would benefit from the same coaches furthering their development as a group.
He described his working relationship with Emus’ lower grade mentors as “critical”.
“Just having a group of coaches that get on is massive,” Logan said.
“It means not only do you work well together but the players see you working well together. It’s a love job after all, we’re not getting paid for it, so you’ve got to have a group of people around you you enjoy being with.”
Back after getting his first taste of coaching in 2013, Dansey was confident his work in the lower grades would help take the club back to the top of the Blowes Clothing Cup club championship.
“There’s been a lot of Emus second grade sides over the years that have been the also-rans, there or there abouts and make the finals but we want to go that extra step this year, which we’ve spoken about,” he said.
“But, naturally we’re here to support first grade, that’s what the club’s focus is on.”