SEPTEMBER 09, 2014 4:16PM
Outgoing Sandringham coach Simon McPhee.
SANDRINGHAM general manager John Mennie has poured praise on outgoing senior coach Simon McPhee, saying he made an outstanding contribution to the Zebras.
And Mennie declared McPhee could coach an AFL club.
After three years in the position the former West Australian stood down following Sandy’s semi-final loss to Port Melbourne.
He will concentrate on his role as manager of the St Kilda Academy program.
“He’s been fantastic for us down here with the development of our young players,’’ Mennie said of McPhee.
“We can certainly see it with the way our kids have come through in the past two years and so many of them playing senior footy this year.
“He was exceptional in that regard and it’s put us in a good position going forward.’’
Mennie said McPhee had the “ability and the attributes’’ to be a senior AFL coach.
St Kilda, he said, had “seriously’’ considered him last year to replace Scott Watters.
“He has good relationships with the players, he’s a good communicator, a really good teacher and he understands the time and effort that needs to be put into young players,’’ Mennie said.
“He’s the full package.’’
McPhee’s replacement will come from St Kilda’s panel of assistants, which is not finalised for 2015.
It will be a two-year appointment, taking the clubs through to the end of the alignment.
Asked if Paul Hudson would be considered, Mennie said: “Well, he has the credentials, you would think. He’s worked with us for three years and been very good.’’
Meanwhile, Mennie says Sandringham will need an annual subsidy of at least $300,000 to operate as a stand-alone club from 2017.
Mennie has told AFL Victoria officials that the stand-alones must be given appropriate financial support.
Without it, “we’ll just get back to an AFL reserves competition with three or four VFL clubs with gaming venues’’.
“That’s the reality of it,’’ he said. “We’ll need $300,000 to survive and around $380,000 to thrive and that’s the same for the other VFL clubs without alignments.