In yet another off-season Pascoe Cup maneuver, Leeton United boss Mick Doolin has quietly passed on the torch to his head coaching successor.
“I’ll be stepping down, well I’ve already stepped down actually,” Doolin said.
“The family’s been planning a 10-week trip to Queensland next year over the winter and it wouldn’t be fair of me to stay on as coach.
“So, we’ve put an ad out for coaches and I took Joe Trifogli and Frank Alampi out to tea the other night to see what might come up for next year.”
There’s just one problem - neither Trifogli nor Alampi have accepted the post yet.
“At this point, they’re not prepared to commit themselves which is ok, but hopefully they bite the bullet soon and at least one of them goes for it,” Doolin said.
“They did such a good job with all the training this year and the contribution both of those men made to the team was immense.
“They put a lot of time and effort into their work and made sure the boys were doing different things each week and getting better all the time.
“I think they’d be brilliant head coaches.”
After three years in the top job, Doolin has faith in the club’s ability to not just go deep into finals but also take out the competition.
“With the team we’ve put together, I think there’s definitely potential there.”
“The boys are probably still a bit naive and that came through when Young beat us in finals and back when Lake Albert gave us that 6-0 football lesson, but they’re a talented bunch.
“If they keep working and improving, they’ll do well next year.”
Doolin will remain an “interested spectator” prior to his June departure and admitted the transition from coach to couch might be tougher than expected.
“I really love coaching and it’s only the fact that we’ve planned this holiday that’s stopping me from putting my hand up again.”
“But like I said, it’s not fair to be away for all that time during the season and June till August is a very long time.”
Leeton finished fifth on the Pascoe Cup ladder in 2018 with nine wins, seven losses and two draws before falling to eventual grand finalists Young Lions in their elimination final.
Season highlights included wins over Henwood Park and Tolland while star striker Anthony Trifogli was runner up in Player of the Year.