From Ballarat Courier
Reported by Melanie Whelan
Full Story Click Here
EXCELLENTLY prepared. Encouraging teacher and astute learner. Constantly evolving his tactics. Highly respectful of the game, the league and its players. Genuinely interested in the stories behind his players and the staff he works alongside.
These are consistent themes in how peers and players describe Gerard FitzGerald’s coaching style, characteristics fine-tuned in his tenures with North Ballarat Roosters. This is how he plans to sign off.
FitzGerald will close a coaching chapter with the Selkirk Roosters in the Victorian Football League on Saturday. He will lead the club into battle against standalone club Coburg, a team led by long-time friend and rival Peter German.
NORTH Ballarat Roosters coach Gerard FitzGerald has called for a league review into stricter match-day schedules.
Both the Roosters and Werribee were delayed in taking to the field for final pre-match warm-ups for their Victorian Football League match after a prolonged curtain-raiser match for the Tigers’ development team.
VFL team managers from each club called on umpires to intervene and allow players more time to finish warming up before a short Anzac Day commemoration.
FitzGerald said it should not have got to that point – the league must reconsider tightening match-day timelines, especially when marking special occasions.
Rules on ground access and curtain-raiser timing are strict in the AFL, and the Roosters will be under such conditions in three weeks time for a clash with Northern Blues at Etihad Stadium. Ballarat Football League reserves matches play set 24-minute quarters that can be adjusted.
Find out how your VFL team will fare as we run the rule over each club’s hopes in our 2015 season preview
THE 2015 VFL season kicks off on Friday with Werribee hosting Geelong under lights. Leader sports editor Paul Amy rounds up each club’s ins and outs.
BOX HILL HAWKS
Coach: Marco Bello
Last year: runner-up to Footscray Bulldogs
In: Cadeyn Williams (Richmond), Jack Sandric (Hobart City), Lochie Adey, James Handley (Blackburn), Matthew Burt, Chris Jones, Liam Kidd, Matthew Traynor (Eastern Ranges), Billy Murphy, Sam Switkowski (Northern Knights), James Sullivan (Tatura), Patrick Dillon (Donvale), Xavier Dimasi (Assumption/Calder Cannons), Ben Fitzpatrick (Korumburra/Bena), Dalton Graham (Sandringham).
Out: Luke Andrews, Callan Burns, Corey Cassidy, Sam Cust, Jackson Eade, Tom Goodwin, Jake Kalanj, Tom Miles, Xavier Murphy, Matt Northe, Nick Papadopoulos, Kalem Post, Michael Thompson, Brandon Wood.
The verdict: the Hawks have lost top-line midfielders in Xavier Murphy and Luke Andrew as well as the emerging Brandon Wood. But they’ve picked up former Tiger Cadeyn Williams and have good young players coming through in support of senior men Sam Iles, David Mirra, Marc Lock and Liam Tobin. Premiers in 2013 and runners-up last year, there’s no reason to think there will be a slackening of standards.
Player watch: Mitch O’Donnell. He’s as hard as a coffin nail and he’ll be granted more opportunity after an excellent pre-season.
Celebrating season 2014 with the Casey Scorpions and A Positive Move
Click on read more for a full club by club report.