K rock Football

Where the coaches stand

The shutdown of the local football season as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak poses several questions for local coaches.

One of those is whether their 2020 contract – for those who don’t have deals for next year – will get rolled over into 2021 if they choose to go on.

Here’s the situation at your local club.


2020 should have been Paul Nigro’s second season as coach after replacing Paul Carson. Guided the ‘Seas to the finals in his first year in charge before bowing out to eventual grand finalist Torquay at the semi-final stage. Isn’t contracted for 2021.


Chris Moore has been in charge on De Motts Road since 2016, including sharing the role with Jamie Grace and Nathan Kenyon during that time. Is yet to commit to a sixth season.


After urging Bannockburn to advertise his position for 2020, Peter Riccardi re-signed before taking the Tigers to the flag. Not contracted for 2021 and is yet to discuss next year with the club.

Barwon Heads:

Mitch Herbison indicated earlier this week he’d be keen to go on if season 2020 doesn’t get off the ground. Co-coach Troy Mitchell, who has a strong relationship with Seagulls’ football boss Brendan Curry, is likely to go on as well.

Bell Park:

Shane Jack was due to go it alone at Hamlyn Park after sharing the role with the long-serving Tim Sheringham in 2019. The former Ocean Grove mentor is out-of-contract.

Bell Post Hill:

Justin Tarr has been offered a third season in charge at Myers Reserve in 2021. After a tough year at the Panthers where he shared the role with Caleb Bacely, Tarr was preparing to launch the club back into the finals following the return of a number of his premiership teammates.

Belmont Lions:

Nathan Bisset signed a two-year deal with the Lions late in 2019. However, he’s told krockfootball.com.au a change in his employment status as a result of the COVID-19 situation means he is no certainty to lead the club in 2021.


Like Shane Jack, Rowan McSparron was set to fly solo after sharing the role with a club great (Kane Leersen) in 2019. Is out of contract for 2021, but told krockfootball.com.au last week he is yet to speak with club president Matt Gibson.


After Darren Bennett returned to the club after a stint as an assistant coach with GFL club Geelong West to right the Corio ship, he has been joined by son Joel in 2020. Neither is contracted for next year, but you would think two of the Devils’ favourite sons have the job as long as they want it.


The rookie combination of Luke Matthews and Daniel Jull oversaw a resurgence from Drysdale that had them inside the top five with four rounds remaining. However, the Hawks lost three consecutive matches from that point to finish sixth. Not contracted, but it would be a surprise if they weren’t in charge.

East Geelong:

Jeremy Power is in his third season at Richmond Crescent but isn’t contracted for 2021. Took the Eagles to the finals in 2019 for the first time in five years following just four wins the previous year.

Geelong Amateur:

Former Geelong speedster Kane Tenace, who guided Geelong Amateur to the minor premiership in 2019, is in the second season of a two-year deal.

Geelong West (GDFL):

Andrew Clark is heading into his fifth season and Mitch Wight his second as co-coaches of the Giants. Both are out-of-contract at the end of this year.

Geelong West (GFL):

Former Richmond assistant coach Greg Mellor is now in his third season at West Oval but is out-of-contract at the end of 2020.


After a year as an assistant to Simon Riddoch, Daniel Fraser signed a two-year deal in August to lead the Tigers for 2020 and 2021.


Adam Donohue is out-of-contract for 2021. Filled big shoes vacated by Mark McDowell admirably in his first senior coaching job. Only a goal after-the-siren stopped the Hawks from being in the GDFL final three for a sixth consecutive season.


Club great Shayne Stone returned from a stint as an assistant coach at Werribee last year to help Tony Armstrong. With Armstrong stepping down to focus on his media career, Stone was due to go it alone in 2020. He is not contracted for 2021.


Former star forward Jason Tom only signed a one-year deal when appointed just before Christmas. Joked when asked about his plans for 2021 that an undefeated 2020 so far would hold him in good stead for a new deal.


Modewarre is home to what is believed to be the first-ever coaching triumvirate in local football in our region. Seamus Orr, who shared the reins with John Meesen in 2019, has been joined this year by Mitch Fisher and Chris Hickey. Orr is out-of-contract, while it’s understood Fisher and Hickey only signed for this year.


Rory Nicol will equal Laurie DeGoldi’s record of five seasons if we get underway in 2020. However, the man who has revived the fortunes of Newcomb is out-of-contract. It is understood Jye Walker, who joined Nicol as co-coach at the end of last year, only has a one-year deal.

Newtown & Chilwell:

2020 would have been Damien McMahon’s fourth in charge since returning from a successful stint in Western Australia. Is yet to sign on for 2021, but most would be surprised if he didn’t.

North Geelong:

2020 is Ayden George’s second year at Osborne Park. He was planning to sit down with the Magpies’ executive mid-season to discuss next year.

North Shore:

Mark McDowell signed a three-year deal at the end of 2018 when he returned to the club where he was a junior. A proud product of the northern suburbs, the former Inverleigh coach is prepared to play the long game in the rebuild at Windsor Park.

Ocean Grove:

First-year coach Pete Davey has only inked a deal for 2020. However, he is in for the long-haul with the rebuild of the Grubbers with mid-year discussions likely to be a mere formality for him to continue into 2021.


Stability for the Demons with former Peter O’Connor locked away until at least the end of 2021. He has arrived at the club with experienced administrator Geoff Miles, with the pair tasked with turning around Portarlington’s fortunes.


If the 2020 season had gone ahead as scheduled, Steve Clark would have become the longest-serving coach in BFL history late in the season. However, Matt Sproule could maintain his record with Clark no certainty to coach on next year.

South Barwon:

Dave Farrell signed a contract extension in late 2018 taking him through to the end of this year. However, there’s been no movement on a new deal.

St Albans:

Chris Carlon, who shared the role with Adam Boshevski last year and was joined late in this pre-season by Ben Patrick, is undecided on taking a third year at St Albans. However, Patrick is locked away after signing a two-year deal.

St Joseph’s:

Paul Carson is in the second year of a two-year deal after returning to the club following a playing assistant coaching role at Inverleigh and two years in charge of Anglesea.

St Mary’s:

After registering his 200th game as a senior coach in last year’s thrilling grand final win over Colac, Glenn Keast needs just nine games to break Terry Bright’s record for most GFL games coached. He and Travis Robertson took over at Anthony Costa Oval in late 2017. They are out-of-contract at the end of this year.


Rookie duo Jarrod Westwood and Sam Jacka replaced Reece Holwell in October. It is understood they signed an initial one-year deal to lead the Tigers into a new era.


Dom Gleeson was appointed for a sixth season in charge before the end of the 2019 season. If the Tigers take the field and the former Werribee and Geelong VFL goes into 2021, he will become the longest-serving coach in Torquay history.

Werribee Centrals:

Nick Smith signed on for a third year after taking Werribee Centrals to last year’s preliminary final. Rhyce Prismall has joined him as co-coach.


Brendan Forssman has been at the helm since replacing Luke Rayner at the end of 2016. Is out-of-contract at the end of this year.

Twitter: @tom_king79