K rock Football

Carson to continue on at Joeys

St Joseph’s coach Paul Carson. (Sports Media Image/Marcel Berens)

PAUL Carson has quickly turned his attention to planning for 2021 following his appointment as coach of GFL club St Joseph’s for a second season.

Carson, who took Joeys to a preliminary final in his first year in charge at Drew Oval, has revealed plans for an eight-week training block starting next month if AFL Barwon’s proposed modified competition doesn’t get off the ground.

“Whether that’s one night a week or two nights a week, we haven’t yet identified what that exactly looks like,” he said.

“But we really want to keep our guys engaged and around each other and kicking footballs.

“From there we’ll go away for a couple of months and get back in November.

“In the interim, we’re waiting, like every club, to see what the points and salary caps look like so we can start getting pen to paper from our boys and putting a list together.”

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After finishing the 2019 home-and-away season in second place and beating Newtown & Chilwell in the qualifying final, St Joseph’s lost the second semi-final to Colac before becoming eventual premier St Mary’s third September victim in the preliminary final.

Despite the less-than-ideal end to the season, Carson is confident Joeys can contend for a fourth flag in six seasons next year.

“We felt we weren’t too far away last year,” he said.

“Unfortunately, at the back end, with a few injuries and a little bit of form, we were probably heading the other way from the pointy end.

“But, we thought if things had of gone our way, we weren’t far off it.

“So that gives me hope.”

Carson is keen to develop the next crop of young stars at the club, with a number from last year’s AFL Barwon under-19 Division 1 premiership-winning team ready to step-up.

He will also have a fit Kieren Paliouras and Riley Kershaw at his disposal, with both getting extra time to recover from serious knee injuries.

“It’s quite extraordinary that Kieren could do his knee and not miss a game,” Carson said.

“And ‘Kersh’ will be 110 per cent ready to go by April next year.

“He would have come back about now if we had of been playing, but his knee will be super strong and better for it.”

Twitter: @tom_king79