Barellan to begin search for a playing coach in 2018

IN THE AIR: Barellan president Jeff Mickan in the ruck last week against TRYC. Mickan says the club is in the market for a playing coach next year. The Two Blues hope to finish the season with another upset against Marrar on Saturday.
IN THE AIR: Barellan president Jeff Mickan in the ruck last week against TRYC. Mickan says the club is in the market for a playing coach next year. The Two Blues hope to finish the season with another upset against Marrar on Saturday.

Barellan have confirmed they’re in the market for a coach with the Matt Irvin-Dave Curran partnership to come to an end after Saturday’s game at Marrar.

The pair stepped in as co-coaches at the beginning of June after the Two Blues ended Darren Jackson’s tenure following five straight losses to start the year.

“They’ve worked well together with one on-field and one off-field, we’ve been happy,” Barellan president Jeff Mickan said. 

“(But) Dave can’t do it again… he can see going forward that he wouldn’t be able to commit to the time that is going to be needed.

“We’re very keen to get a playing coach. We just think that’s the best fit for our club – an on-field leader.”

Aiding their cause to find a coach, the club anticipates hanging on to its Canberra-based players including Matt Bernasconi, Mal Fernie, and James McCabe, who have regularly featured in their best. 

“It’s still to be worked out but it’s looking positive so far,” Mickan said. 

“(They’ve brought) plenty of class, knowledge and they set an example. They’ve certainly helped – there’s been significant improvement from last year to this year and that can be attributed to them.”

Although last on the ladder, Barellan have enjoyed two wins in their last five matches, including against fourth-placed The Rock-Yerong Creek last week.

“We’re disappointed with our position on the ladder but in saying all that, we’re definitely a lot better team than last year,” Mickan said. 

“We’ve played good footy in a lot of games but just not for the whole game and we finally did that on Saturday…

“The Rock, they’re the team we’ve really struggled against for the three years. They’ve handed us our biggest losses, so it was significant in that regard.”

Mickan, who played one of his best games of the year, pointed out the Pies were without some key personnel including Lachie Hunter, Josh Meiselbach and David Pieper.

He said they aren’t getting ahead of themselves after one win over a top five side but are keen to finish their season as strongly as possible against the Bombers. 

“They’re probably the team to beat for everyone in finals, and it's first versus last, but we’ll go over there with a bit of hope and some confidence out of the last game,” Mickan said.

“And I think they've got a couple of injuries too so maybe (an upset) might happen again.”

Barellan need a win at Langtry Oval to avoid the wooden spoon.