New Coleambally co-coach Luke Hillier says the Blues are focussed on a return to being among the finals contenders next year.
Hillier, 23, has joined Mitch Carroll in charge at the Blues, who went from runners-up to a wooden spoon in two seasons.
A premiership player with The Rock-Yerong Creek, Hillier said he learnt plenty from David Pieper and Tom Yates and is rapt to get an opportunity to coach after moving to Coleambally.
“I was always hoping to do it one day. I thought it would be a good challenge so it’s going to be a good experience,” Hillier said. “Mitch is a great fella, he’s played a lot of footy and he’ll be good to learn off.
“There’s a good group already here, we just need to add some quality players around them and see if we can push for finals hopefully.”
Hillier has had a year off footy, travelling overseas. He admitted playing against TRYC will be ‘weird’ to start with but said he’s been warmly welcomed at Coleambally.
Carroll is looking forward to working with the former Magpie.
“Yeah, real happy – he’s keen and hopefully we can get a few players and climb up the ladder a bit,” Carroll said.
“We’re talking and negotiating and waiting for an answer from about seven or eight at the moment… we just need that first bloke to commit. But it won’t be through lack of trying anyway.”
Carroll said they’ve been casting the recruiting net ‘far and wide’ in a bid to make sure the Blues are more than competitive.
Classy club best-and-fairest winner, Tom Groves, will remain at the club, reverting to the role of an assistant coach after a season alongside Carroll at the helm.
The Blues are also hoping they can get the brilliant Dean Pound back on the paddock after a shoulder injury saw him sit a season out.