K rock Football

Patrick coup for St Albans

Ben Patrick addresses the St Albans playing group on Monday night. (krockfootball.com.au Image/Al Packer)

ST ALBANS has turned to the highly-regarded Ben Patrick to fill two significant roles at the GFL club.

The Lara premiership star, who was most recently with Essendon as an AFL opposition analyst, will take on a co-coaching role of the Supersaints’ senior team with Chris Carlon.

He has also been appointed to the newly created role of club coach, which will involve guiding the development of coaches at every level at The Gordon TAFE Oval.

“Basically it will be giving them development plans and working with them,” Patrick said.

“Everybody has different ambitions in their coaching careers, and I’ll work with those to give them the best opportunity to be the best coaches they can be.”

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Patrick, who spent two seasons as playing co-coach of Barwon Heads alongside Matt Kershaw in 2005-06, and also held roles with Werribee and North Melbourne in the VFL, was first approached by the St Albans hierarchy less than a fortnight ago.

“It happened really quickly,” he said. “I got a call on a Thursday night, met with the club on Friday and it all went really quickly from there.

“We just needed to sort out how it was going to look, in terms of Chris’ role, and I was really mindful I didn’t want to be in a position where I wanted to push him aside or anything like that.

“He wants to be a senior coach for a long time, so my role is to really help develop him as well.”

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Patrick has arrived with his own ideas on how to make St Albans, which hasn’t played finals in 17 years, competitive again.

However, he isn’t in a rush to shake things up.

“The time of the year says we can’t change everything straight away, but we will change things over time, and we will drip feed things through every training session,” Patrick said.

“It’s just about education now; educating the players. From what everybody has said, they’re ready to take the next step in their education as well.

“We know it’s going to take a little bit of time because there’s going to be some things in there that they won’t understand and won’t take to straightaway.

“It’s up to us as coaches to put things in place to make sure that they do start to think that they can achieve things that they want to.

The Supersaints, who are currently undergoing a $1m upgrade of their players’ facilities, start their 2020 season with the annual “Battle of the Break” against South Barwon at McDonald Reserve on April 4.

Meanwhile, Grovedale has confirmed the signing of Tom Edwards-Baldwin from WAFL premier Subiaco.

A 182cm forward, Edwards-Baldwin played 22 games and kicked 27 goals for the Lions.

He will be available for the Tigers when not required by VFL club Williamstown.

Edwards-Baldwin joins Echuca recruit Darby Henderson as making Grovedale their interchange club while at the Seagulls.

Twitter: @tom_king79