St Mary’s Salesian announced this week that they had signed former Fremantle and North Melbourne player Jess Sinclair as their senior coach for the 2014 season.
The announcement is a major coup for the Glen Iris based club who had a successful 2013 season, with their U19 team winning the U19 North Premiership and both their seniors and reserves making the finals just missing out on Grand Final berths in Division 2.
Club President David Malcom was on hand to introduce the new senior coach to the leadership group at the club this week and confirmed the club’s excitement at signing Sinclair.
“This is a big day for St Mary’s Salesian Football Club and we believe that Jess’ experience at the highest level will be invaluable to our young list” said Malcom.
St Mary’s Salesian also field an U18 team and regularly field a senior side with a younger average age than their opposition. With 2013 senior coach Erwin Leyden confirming he would not continue in 2014, the club set about their search for a replacement.
Sinclair lives around the corner from the club and having finished playing he felt the time was right to look at coaching.
“I am really excited about what David and the team at St Mary’s Salesian presented to me and I couldn’t think of a better place to start my coaching career than in the VAFA where it’s a well run well established competition and the standard of football is excellent, ” Sinclair told vafa.com.au.
Sinclair finished at North Melbourne in 2008 after 192 games at the Kangaroos and Dockers before playing in a premiership at Heidelberg in the Northern Football League. However as Sinclair lives around the corner from Ferndale Park he would often find himself watching St Mary’s Salesian matches when walking his dogs and was impressed with the club and the football on display.
He contacted club President David Malcom to enquire about any coaching opportunities should they exist and Sinclair was invited for an interview with the committee.
“After finishing at North I wasn’t really thinking about coaching but as you get older you start to think about football in a different way and you see things happening in a game, the trends, the set plays of teams and this created an appetite for coaching” said Sinclair.
David Malcom is of the belief that recruiting Sinclair will continue to promote the club to the young talent that arrives at the club each year. The club is still searching for U19 and U18 coaches but with a strong commitment to developing young footballers in the area, new coaches would be well resourced.
“We are a club that treasures our young talent, but we are also a club with ambition, we have a strong committee, a strong list and leadership group and now we have a fantastic new senior coach to take us into the 2014 season” said a clearly delighted Malcom.