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Sexton leads new crusade
Body: [quote]EXPERIENCED player and coach Danny Sexton has been selected to lead the next bunch of Australian Football League (AFL) hopefuls from the Northern Knights in 2006. The former league-listed player was announced by the Knights to take over as coach after the departure of Neil Connell in the off season. “I’m happy to be doing it,” Sexton said. “I enjoy coaching and working with the kids, and it’s going to be good fun for me.” Sexton’s playing career included stints with AFL clubs North Melbourne and Fitzroy before he joined the ranks of Port Melbourne in the Victorian Football Association competition, where he spent seven years. In the past two seasons he has been involved with Knights rivals the Calder Cannons, where he coached the under 16 team and was an assistant to coach Robert Hyde in the club’s 2004 premiership year. The Knights lost 2005 coach Connell to the Kangaroos early this year, and immediately set out to find the club’s next leader.While Sexton has only spent a few training sessions with the playing group, he will use the limited time left before the first practice match to establish who will get their chance in the highest standard competition for under 18s in the state. “It’ll take me a couple of weeks to find out who everybody is, where they play and what they can do,” he said. “I have to work out what their strengths and weaknesses are and what their attitudes are like.” Sexton’s support staff is virtually unchanged from last season, an advantage the new coach said was crucial in picking the best squad possible.While it’s still early days, he is expecting a strong showing from what he hopes will be a talented bunch in season 2006. “If it’s a talented group, the kids are well prepared and they have a crack on the weekend, it should be reasonably successful,” he said. “I hope we go as well as we probably can. After about five or six rounds I’ll have a better idea." Last year the Knights were in a seemingly desperate position after the first half of the season before a dramatic turnaround saw it storm into the preliminary final. The resurgence was led by the senior group, the majority of which has moved on, but Sexton believes another consistent effort could see the club return to the same heights this year. “It was a good effort,” he said. “I suppose the trick for those top-age kids will be to realise that the start of the season was a whole lot different to the end. “Just because the boys finished well last year there’s no guarantee the club will get off to a good start this year. “That will be the responsibility of the senior players.” Northern regional manager Peter Kennedy was pleased to have acted swiftly in replacing the outgoing Connell, giving the players enough time to adapt to their new leader. “(Sexton’s) got the football background. He’s a good communicator, and I think he’ll be a good asset for the Northern Knights,” he said. In other Northern Knights news, Paul Colbert has been invited back to the under 18 competition under a new TAC Cup rule introduced for this season.Under the rule, clubs are allowed to list two players who will turn 19 before 30 April. Colbert, who played his first season for the Knights last year making 14 appearances, was added to the playing list last week. The Knights have resumed training for the 2006 season, which begins on 1 April.[/quote]
Edited by: admin on 28/12/2008 - 02:16