K rock Football

McDowell steps down at Shore

Mark McDowell has stepped down as coach of North Shore. (krockfootball.com.au Image/Al Packer)

NORTH Shore has started the search for a new coach following the resignation of Mark McDowell

The Seagulls confirmed on Friday afternoon that McDowell, who was due to lead the club for a second season in 2021, had stepped away for work reasons.

“Mark came to the club in challenging circumstances, and the club is forever grateful for his contribution over the last two years,” North Shore president Dale Purcell said in a statement.

“The decision to step down wasn’t an easy one and demonstrates the courage Mark had on and off the field over many years in football and sport in general.

“Mark will continue to support the club, and will be regularly popping into the club throughout the season.”

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With McDowell standing down, former coach Jason Davenport, who announced earlier this year he was returning to Windsor Park as a player, has been appointed playing assistant coach for 2021.

Davenport, who coached the Seagulls between 2014-17, and last played with the Seagulls in 2018, is back following a stint as a development coach with Carlton’s former VFL affiliate the Northern Blues.

“(Jason) will take the lead on the preparation for season 20201, and continuing the recruiting strategy with the recruiting team,” Purcell said.

“The club will see no disruption with the current recruitment strategy.

“Head coach recruitment has commenced, and the club is committed to finding the right person to elevate the club to the next level.

“We are in good hands with Jason taking the lead, so have time on our side.

“Jason is straight out of the VFL system in a development role and will be a great asset to the list we have and any potential recruits.”

Purcell is bullish about what the future holds for North Shore, which has struggled for more than a decade following a stunning run of success through the 1970s, 80s and 90s.

“It’s an exciting time for the club, with the upgrade of ground lighting on track, a new gym facility that ranks as one of the best, if not the best in the region,” he said.

“We also have new coaches and timekeepers building works starting shortly, and numerous other facility upgrades that create a great sustainable environment for players members to thrive.”

Twitter: @tom_king79