Fresh from being named as Henwood Park’s latest Pascoe Cup leader, dual premiership-winning coach Matt Menser has tipped 2019 to be an “exciting year” for the club.
The Hawks finished second on the ladder before bowing out in the semi finals under Ryan McKenzie – a campaign that would’ve left most clubs satisfied.
Menser has other ideas and has already set a tall order for his new charges.
“We’re looking at playing in the final next year, at least that’s the goal,” Menser said.
“I guess we finished up in second and had a pretty good season this year but we were still disappointed to go the way we did.
“We really thought we’d make the grand final at least.”
The 34-year-old’s horror injury run did little to help the Hawks during a roller coaster opening three months with Menser admitting the knocks took their toll.
“I didn’t really enjoy this season as much and a lot of that came down to spending lots of time injured.”
“It’s tough running around – I could be playing masters next year if I wanted too.”
Still, the drive to see Henwood Park succeed remains and when a new coaching opportunity arose, Menser was happy to accept – with a few altered terms.
“Look, it’s not something I contemplated originally but when they asked me if I was interested, I said that I would be and I’m keen to get into it.
“I probably won’t be playing much and I’d rather be on the sidelines – I can step in and play if needed.”
Menser’s composure in the attacking half will be sorely missed in a side that also bade farewell to Wagga United-bound Jake Ploenges last month.
The pair contributed 20 of Henwood Park’s 50 goals for the season despite playing just 12 games each, leaving veteran midfielder Carl Pideski and McKenzie as the side’s currently listed scoring targets.
Henwood Park’s premierships aspirations will instead fall upon the shoulders of its impressive junior and reserve grade ranks.
“I think it’s going to be really exciting next year and we’ve got the chance to try and build something more substantial at the club,” Menser said.
“We’ve got really good depth and all those young guys in (Henwood Park) Falcons are still at school, so they’ve got plenty of years ahead of them and there’s some good players in the (Henwood Park) Hawks side that won (the Gardiner Shield) too.
“We’ll be trying a whole group of new players in seniors next year and I think that’ll be good for the club.”