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Lara looks forward

Lara coach Simon Riddoch. (krockfootball.com.au Image/Al Packer)

SIMON Riddoch knew there was no quick fix when he took over the Lara coaching job at the end of 2016.

And early signs that it was going to take some time to turnaround the Cats’ fortunes were reinforced by last week’s 252-point loss to Newtown & Chilwell.

Riddoch, who played in an equal-GFL record eight senior premierships at North Shore, took to social media in the 24 hours after the result to urge the Lara community to throw its support behind the club.

“To win games and to win premierships there are processes and we’re following that right now with our debuting of several young key individuals from our junior ranks, and we’ll probably do it again this week,” he said.

“We had Cam Driscoll debut last week and we’re looking to do another one this week.

“We’re looking to get as many games into our young guys and exposing them to GFL footy, and looking for that support.

“That article I put on our Facebook page was basically borne out of looking over my shoulder at the huddles at Newtown and not seeing too many Lara scarves and jumpers around the huddles.”

While 42-goal hidings aren’t ideal, Riddoch isn’t too concerned about margins, instead he is more worried about teaching his players the right way to play.

“I’d like to say that will be our only result at that level, but these results will happen because we’ll try and teach our guys to play good offensive and defensive football,” he said.

“We don’t want to put 8-12 guys behind the footy and have a 25 or 30-goal loss, because the boys don’t get caught anything then; they’re not taught how to play football the right way.”

Riddoch who was part of some famous clashes against Lara during his playing days at the Seagulls, is actively working to get club greats involved.

“Craig Hoffman’s an old school friend and I used to play against him as well,” Riddoch said. “We debuted Sam last week and he was rapt to see his son play.

“Ben Patrick presented Cam Driscoll with his jumper against Newtown.

“That’s a guy who’s (coaching) at VFL and doing his level three AFL coaching (accreditation), who’s still giving to our football club and able to come back and spend some time with us.

“David Wall, who’s an ex-champion wingman and premiership player, came back and had a chat to our group on Past Players’ Day.

“We’re reaching out to them and we’re getting some engagement from them.”

Riddoch also said the Cats were actively looking at their list for 2018.

“We’re looking to build and see who’s out there,” he said. “We’re looking for some quality leadership guys who are looking for a game of footy.

“We’re offering GFL standard football at the moment, so we’re targeting some guys to come.

“We’re actively recruiting as of June 2017 for 2018, like a lot of other clubs are in our position.

“It’s going to be a tough slog, but we’re there to do it.

Twitter: @tom_king79