K rock Football

Baptism of fire for King

Interim Ocean Grove coach David King in action for the Grubbers in 2016. (Sports Media Image/Marcel Berens)

CARETAKER coach David King will receive a baptism of fire against some familiar faces when Ocean Grove starts life post-Jordan Jones on Saturday.

The Grubbers face a tough trip to KFC Oval for a clash with the ladder-leading Geelong Amateur, which will feature King’s brother Bradley and fellow former St Joseph’s teammate Daniel Lovick.

It starts a tough three weeks for Ocean Grove and King, who was thrust into the hot seat following the sacking of Jones on July 2.

“Then we go ‘Modda’ (Modewarre) – they’re a top-three side, I reckon,” King, who played with the Grubbers in 2016 under Wayne Walsh, said. “Those top six are just so far ahead, aren’t they?

“Then we’ve got Torquay, so we’ve got three pretty big games coming up.

“I’m looking forward to it. It would be great to get a couple of wins along the way.

“But we’ve got to be realistic because we’re going to play the young kids.”

Jones’ departure also saw his father, former Thomson coach Stewart, leave Ray Menzies Oval, resulting in a shuffling of the deckchairs.

Veteran defender Justin Carey and midfielder Luke Cartelli will take on assistant coaching roles, while King’s friend, former Gisborne star Heath Levis, will also be involved.

“He’ll be doing a lot of the board stuff, and helping me with the mids,” King said.

“‘Juzzie’ (Carey) is going to do the backs, and Lukey Cartelli’s been injured a bit, so I’m going to get him on board.”

Despite taking on the role for the remainder of the year, King isn’t using it as an audition for the role permanently in 2020.

“I’m looking at it like that; I just want to see out the next six weeks,” he said. “It’s a respect thing for Jordy, as well.

“I’ll see the six weeks out and see how I go, and if it all works, maybe. You never say no.

“But, it’s only new to me.”

Ocean Grove trained under King for the first time last Thursday night.

“We had a big session on the track, and we spoke about the whole thing (Jones sacking), and how – as a whole – we’ve got to get better,” he said.

“That’s training habits and whatnot because it’s disappointing what happened.

“Being 3-9 – and I’m part of that group – everyone’s got to be accountable for it. It’s not fair for one guy to be accountable, but that’s how footy clubs are.

“We’ve all got to jump on board, and we’ve got to improve now.”

Twitter: @tom_king79
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