John Rann and Shane Ogg have been appointed joint coaches to lead the Saints charge into the 2017 GAFL Season. Both Rann and Ogg were involved in other capacities last year with Rann in charge of player management and Ogg as an assistant to outgoing coach Des O’Sullivan. Saints officials felt Rann and Ogg were the men best suited to improve on last years heartbreaking Preliminary final loss to eventual premier Nguykal.
Ogg and Rann are no strangers to the game. Ogg took the rains in a couple of matches during the 2016 season and impressed with his passion and understanding of the game while Rann brings years of country footballing experience to the helm.
Rann has already made clear his intentions to the playing group who have met for training on Monday nights over the last few weeks. Off field, Rann clearly stated his desire to make the Saints an even more family friendly club during 2017. The inaugural Under 16s competition provides a real base from which the club can work from in future years and it’s about making all families within our community feel welcome.
In other club news, the Saints are pleased to announce that they will be a forming a partnership with the Datjala work camp. Both Datjala and Saints officials are buoyed by the new partnership which will bring mutual benefits to both parties. Saints Football Operations Manager Brett Fragiacomo has been instrumental in securing the partnership which will see participants of the program being invited to participate in umpire and coaching accreditation in a number of different sports through the Saints network. “We look forward to working with members of the program by engaging them in the Nhulunbuy community, particularly in the area of sport and recreation” Fragiacomo said.
In the short term, this brings some real stability to the club in terms of player numbers. It provides some real player depth to a side that last year relied too heavily on some of its more senior players. It’s a big bonus for a club that’s getting back on its feet after some years out of the competition.
Meanwhile, the Saints can reveal that 95% of last year’s team that competed in the finals will again be available for a tilt at the 2017 flag. Media Manager, Troy Ferrier said that one noticeable absence will be last years Best and Fairest winner Sam Christie who has defected to last years premiers Nguykal. “It’s disappointing for a club trying to take the next step. He is a fantastic young player and we felt we could of provided him with some great opportunities going forward particularly with the inclusion of our Under 16s side” Ferrier said. “But at the end of the day, its community footy and what will be one teams loss with be another teams gain” he said. Ex Wanderers onballer, Shaun Gilbert will help fill the void, along with Josh Hutchinson who was unavailable for last years finals campaign. There has been a sprinkling of new players which will be revealed at a later date.
Ferrier said “One of the Saints main philosophies was to build cultural relationships with football being one of the main drivers”- We have held onto all of our indigenous players from last year and look to add some more class in the coming weeks. It’s a great reflection of all the hard work that is going on behind the scenes, that players want to recommit”
“We hope to be able to share some more exciting announcements in the next few weeks” Ferrier added. “We are confident that as the season draws closer, there will be some players in need of a fresh start. We are confident that’s something we can provide”.
Any players or volunteers wishing to join the Saints on their journey should contact Football Operations Manager Brett Fragiacomo, coaches John Rann and Shane Ogg or alternatively turn up to training at Hindle Oval from 5pm each Monday night.