South Wagga are on the lookout for a new Pascoe Cup coach to take the reins next season.
The Warriors finished ninth on the ladder after a tough start to the year that bore just one win in the first 13 games of competition but showed their mettle with a brave showing in the final month.
Luke Nichols’ men edged Cootamundra, held current semi finalists Wagga United to a 3-all draw and then beat Tumut on their home patch to prove they’ll be a dangerous side in 2019.
“That back end of the season was pretty good for us,” Nichols said.
“A few of the younger boys really stepped up and we started putting a bunch of 90-minute performances together, which is something we struggled with earlier in the year.
“If we played the way we did at the end all season, I reckon we would’ve picked up a few more wins.”
A veteran in the fresh-faced Warriors side, Nichols has enjoyed his time at the helm but insists the club needs a non-playing coach with more experience to successfully nurture the wealth of talent at their disposal.
“We’re most made up of young players and I think we had four guys starting for us who were under 18s, so you’ve gotta expect us to make mistakes and develop,” he said.
“That’s why we’re on the lookout for a new coach – I’m keen to keep playing but I think we really need that non-playing figure.
“We’re looking for someone a little more senior than me.”
South Wagga have already begun canvassing internal options for the role and Nichols hasn’t ruled out chasing candidates from outside the Riverina.
“We’re a growing club with a bunch of great young players and it’d be a good opportunity for someone looking for the next coaching step,” Nichols said.
We’re a growing club with a bunch of great young players and it’d be a good opportunity for someone looking for the next coaching step.Outgoing South Wagga coach Luke Nichols
“It’s an amazing culture we’ve got here – we’re like a real-life ‘The Merger’ film with the Yazidi community so heavily involved in the club.
“Some of the stories our players have are incredible ... and we’re a club that’s going to keep getting bigger and better.”
Still, the season’s not quite over for South Wagga as their reserve grade side eyes off a grand final berth this weekend.
The Warriors’ Gardiner Shield side did it tough against Tolland during last weekend’s elimination final, forcing the game into extra-time before slotting two late goals to send their loyal fans wild.
The game wasn’t without controversy with Tolland receiving two late red cards to cripple their chances.
South Wagga’s reserves face the Hawks Sunday.
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