McPhail and Farnsworth return as Strikers coaches, Dickinson steps up to mentor women

BACK WITH A VENGEANCE: Brent Farnsworth and Adam McPhail will return as the co-coaches of the Cootamundra Strikers' Pascoe Cup team next season. Picture: Declan Rurenga
BACK WITH A VENGEANCE: Brent Farnsworth and Adam McPhail will return as the co-coaches of the Cootamundra Strikers' Pascoe Cup team next season. Picture: Declan Rurenga

Cootamundra Strikers co-coaches Adam McPhail and Brent Farnsworth firmly believe their side is far better than its fifth-placed finish suggested during an injury and suspension riddled season. 

Their determination to prove exactly that has fuelled their freshly announced return to the club’s coaching ranks ahead of next season. 

It was a frustrating 2017 campaign for the Strikers.

Despite having the second stingiest defence in the land - conceding 25 goals in 18 games - they missed fourth spot and a resulting finals berth by eight points.

McPhail said he and Farnsworth were now determined to right the ship.

“It was definitely an easy decision to go again as coaches,” McPhail said.

“We were always going to be back, especially after the team didn’t make much of an impact last season.”

The Strikers leader said the return of dynamic playmaker Josh Purtell, who left the team last season to pursue a move to Wollongong, would immediately bolster the club’s fortunes.

“He brings serious talent,” McPhail said.

“He’s got pace, left foot, right foot.

“When he was last with us he was playing at left back and was scoring screamers from outside the box.

“He’s a guy who can do anything from anywhere.”

But McPhail was quick to emphasise that his side could not afford to rely on any one saviour, with plenty of improvements to be made as a collective unit.

“Closing out games is something we really have to work on in particular,”  he said.

“So many games last year we drew or lost at the very last minute.”

Fellow coach Farnsworth said that his side, which made the final in 2016 before last season’s drop off, would be up there with the competition’s best if it could get all its talent on the pitch.

“If you look at our first handful of games last season, we were flying,” he said.

“But that was the only time we weren’t missing a whole bunch of guys.”

Meanwhile, James Dickinson will take over from club legend Mick Simons as the club’s first-grade women’s coach.

Dickinson said enjoying the game and showing respect would be the pillars of his regime.

“You always want to win but at the same time sport is meant to be fun.”

Dickinson added that following Simons into the role meant he would have big shoes to fill.

“My daughter (Taylah Dickinson) plays in the team and she thought he was the best thing since sliced bread,” he said.

The Strikers have also announced Andrew Parkinson as its new president, taking over from James Philpot.