The legend of Shane Lenon only grew on Saturday when Marrar’s victory added an eighth premiership to his coaching resume.
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The decision to sign the master coach proved a masterstroke as the breakthrough the Bombers had waited 21 years for, arrived within 12 months.
Lenon brought the blueprint. The players bought in.
“Unbelievable,” forward Brad Turner said of the coach’s role.
“Just the way he works with us. He works with everyone. Older blokes, younger blokes. He really got me through the year. And the same with our strapper, Walks (Mick Walker).”
After shoulder and rib injuries this season, Turner had been relatively quiet – by his standards – in the last month.
But on a day unsuited to forwards, he was the most dangerous on the ground. He goaled after his first mark late in the first quarter, and kicked three in eight minutes in the third term to help Marrar to a matchwinning lead.
Turner’s first season at Marrar in 2011 ended in defeat on grand final day. To play a part in their resurrection six years later, and 12 months after the club lost teammate Graeme Reid, was something special.
“Unreal, unreal. I couldn’t describe it. After the year we’ve had, just with losing a great mate and playing with him on our shoulder… he got us over the line there I reckon,” Turner said.
“It’s just an unbelievable feeling. Couldn’t have asked for anything more.”
Nor could the coach, it turns out.
“He was probably the difference, really,” Lenon said of Turner.
“Big time player. Big game. Big occasion. That’s what you’ve gotta do.”
Turner was held goal-less in the loss to Temora two weeks ago.
Lenon couldn’t have been prouder of the way all of his players turned it around on Saturday, with three key players missing.
“After the semi, we were probably written off,” Lenon said. “Not because we got beat but because of the injuries… Jack Reynolds and Brad Moye – they’ll probably be up there in our best and fairest. And (Geoff) Spriggs, you’ve seen what he can do.
“They were three key players out. And I know we were written off. But we never mentioned it. If you’re talking about the blokes who are injured you’re not having confidence in the blokes coming up. So we got on with the job and we were good enough to be able to do that.”
Lenon wasn’t worried that his players were overlooked for the best on ground medal.
“Well we got the main one so it doesn’t really matter.”
Lenon now has five Farrer League and three Riverina League titles as a coach.
He said this year was just the start at Marrar.
“It’s not just about the first grade, it’s the whole club. I keep saying it, but the whole club’s been on the same page. There’s a lot of work gone into it and win, lose or draw today, the club’s going in the right direction.
“And they’re all rapt!”