K rock Football

Carson keeps it consistent

St Joseph’s coach Paul Carson with assistants Christian Shaw and Mark Hovey and recruits Ben Reid, Nick Hutchinson, Charlie Mathieson and Levi Nagorcka (krockfootball.com.au Image/Al Packer)

“DON’T throw the baby out with the bathwater”.

It’s a saying that’s been adopted by new St Joseph’s coach Paul Carson after filling the role vacated by Heath Jamieson who delivered three premierships in four years in what has been the club’s most successful era.

“Clearly things are working and working really well,” he said. “I don’t need to flip it on its head.

“But, there are small changes that we’ll implement.

“We don’t want to confuse them or give them too much too soon. We’ll drip feed a lot of things in.

“There’ll be small changes you’ll see this year, and then I think you’ll see more changes again next year.”

In just his third year of coaching following two seasons in charge of Bellarine league club Anglesea, Carson has turned to two of local football’s most experienced heads to lend a hand.

Ex-Joeys coach Mark Hovey, who has spent a number of years in the Geelong VFL program, and former teammate Christian Shaw have come on board as assistants.

“‘Butch’ (Shaw) was the first person I called,” Carson said.

“I had a good playing relationship with Butch, and we drifted apart with my coaching and playing, and Butch went to Werribee in the VFL.

“When I knew that he had left Werribee and he had last season off, he was the first person I rang and straight away he said, “yep, I’m on board”.

“‘Hoves’ was the person who got me to this footy club in 2010, so it’s good the shoe’s on other foot, and we were able to get Hoves back here as well.

“He’s a guy I’ve had a really good relationship with over the last eight or nine years.

“I feel we’ve got a really good mix of personalities and experience, so it’s good to have these guys in my corner.”

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St Joseph’s has also been actively recruiting, adding four-time Koroit premiership star Jake Nagorcka and talented Woodend youngster Charlie Mathieson to the previously announced Ben Reid (Echuca/Geelong VFL), Nick Hutchinson (Kingborough) and Paddy Kelleher (Torquay).

Carson says Joeys pounced on Nagorcka after he was let go by Werribee where he was training before Christmas.

“His ambition was to play VFL – he was probably stiff to get cut from Werribee is our mail,” Carson said.

“We did a background search and everyone I spoke to down Koroit way said this bloke can seriously play and he’s really unlucky not be on a VFL list.

“He’s only 24-years-old, a really strong inside midfielder … a really good replacement for a Joe Macula I would have thought.”

Mathieson is still eligible for under-19s, but Carson hasn’t ruled out giving a chance at senior football.

“But you can see by his body shape he is nearly ready to play senior footy,” Carson said.

“He’s making really big inroads, so we’re confident he’s going to play senior footy through the year.”

Geelong VFL player Dan Capiron is likely to see some action with St Joseph’s as he recovers from a hip issue that sidelined him for the entire 2018 season.

“Speaking with Geelong on Dan, it will be softly, softly approach with getting him back to football,” Carson said.

“I would suspect he will probably play the first X amount of games with us.”

St Joseph’s will play practice matches against Hoppers Crossing, Sunbury and Sebastapol before opening its season against grand final opponent St Mary’s at Anthony Costa Oval on April 6.

Twitter: @tom_king79