From the Bayside Leader / localfooty.com.au
St Kilda assistant Aaron Hamill has coached the Zebras for the past two years.
Sandringham to put more resources into recruiting
August 30, 2019 12:00pm
Sandringham will put more resources into its recruiting as it sets out to bolster its squad and climb the VFL ladder in 2020.
The Zebras finished their 2019 on the high of a 53-point win over the Northern Blues.
But it was only their sixth victory of the season and they settled 12th on the ladder, missing the finals for the third consecutive season.
The club is waiting on a decision from St Kilda about which of its assistant coaches will be in charge of Sandy next year.
Aaron Hamill has been at the helm for the past two years but the Saints may hand the role to Ben McGlynn.
Sandringham CEO David Cannizzo said the club had already asked operations manager Josh Vella to steer recruiting for next season.
In the past few years Sandy and St Kilda have done it together, with strong input from Saints official Luke O’Brien.
“Yeah, recruitment will be a big focus and we’re changing the structure on how we do it,’’ Cannizzo said.
“Our ops manager (Vella) will have a heavier focus on football and in particular recruitment.
“What’s become clear in talking to others clubs is that we’re slipping away a little bit with the model we have, and that’s shown by the ladder and our performances. We need to improve that. The other clubs are really driving that area, whether it be the coaches at stand-alone clubs or specific recruitment people at aligned clubs.’’
Cannizzo said the club was keen to bring in graduates from the Sandringham Dragons but also “more mature players over the age of 23 or 24 with the desire and the work ethic to play at VFL level’’.
Sandy’s best-performed recruit this year was 28-year-old Frankston Bombers captain Sam Fox.
He’s expected to finish in the top five in the best and fairest, the Neil Bencraft Medal, to be counted on Friday, September 13 at Sandy by the Bay.
Sam Fox was a surprise package for the Zebras this year.
Former St Kilda pair Sam Gilbert and Nathan Wright were Sandy’s key signings for 2019 but both left the club during the season.
Cannizzo said that while Gilbert and Wright hadn’t worked out, Clint Jones took the St Kilda-to-Sandringham path in 2015 and was exceptional.
“It can work, but we have to make sure we really challenge the desire and the interest to keep playing in the VFL. That burning desire still needs to be there. If it’s not, then clearly it’s not going to work for either party,’’ he said.
Sandy will again run the community combine testing day, which last year rewarded five players with contracts.
One of them, Ryan Carroll from St Kilda City, kicked three goals in the final round.
“Our footy program is very good,’’ Cannizzo said.
“If we can continue to provide that, whether the players play every game or only some games, they’ll still be developing. We’ve adjusted pretty well without the Development League.’’
He said he was unsure if Hamill would coach Sandy for a third season.
“I think it can go either way. We would love ‘Sammy’ to continue for another year. If he doesn’t we’re thankful for everything he’s done. A change with one of his deputies (McGlynn or Jake Batchelor) would be more than OK as well. They’re both fantastic assistants.’’