'Blowing the cobwebs out': home-grown coach back on familiar turf

FOR Australian mixed touch football coach Michael Lovett, bringing his team to Orange was a no-brainer.

Lovett put his troops through their paces during an internal training session at Wade Park on Tuesday afternoon, ahead of the Trans-Tasman Touch Football Series, which begins on Friday at Mudgee’s Glen Willow Sporting Complex.

A junior coaching clinic followed the training session and Lovett, born and raised in Orange, said the afternoon was a good way to put back into the community.

“It’s really important for us to be putting back into the grassroots level,” he said.

“That’s the best thing about our sport, a lot of our guys play in those park and local competitions, and it’s great to show where you can get to with touch football.”

The junior clinic focused on development - in Lovett’s opinion the most important aspect of touch football.

“Our sport is very much participation reliant,” he said.

“After our alignment with the NRL it’s become one of the biggest sports around and it’s important to keep getting exposure to grow the sport. It’s a thrill, a fast-paced sport for mixed genders.

“The key is to educate the coaches. I’ve been doing some work with some of the coaches here and it’s been great to see them get results at competitions.”

The internal training session Lovett ran was the first of three leading into the Trans-Tasman series, where Australia will look to reverse last year’s 2-1 loss.

“It was about blowing the cobwebs out,” he said.

“Getting their minds back on the job. There’s been big changes to this squad compared to last year, when we got pumped in New Zealand. We’re going over to Mudgee expecting to win. The balance of this side isn’t quite where we want it to be but it‘s close.”

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