Photo: Nick Harrison...appointed coach of Glenorchy Knights [PlessPix]
Nick Harrison has recently been appointed coach of Glenorchy Knights for the next two seasons.
He took over in a caretaker capacity half-way through last season after the sudden resignation of Eamonn Kelly.
I spoke to Nick about his appointment and the interview follows.
Walter Pless: How do you feel about your appointment?
Nick Harrison: Pleased. Obviously, there were a couple of other people interested [in the position]. On the plus side is having Anthony Grundy involved in it. He is the one who approached me after the Devonport game and said what he felt and that he wanted to get involved in coaching and step down from playing seniors, so we put a package together to submit to the club and then they had a meeting and offered us the job after asking some further questions and we’ve got a two-year contract, a two-plus one-year contract.
WP: You’ve already been coaching the club for the past six months. What changes can you see you’ll need to make?
NH: Obviously, we need strengthening in certain areas. We need to know which players will leave. When Eamonn [Kelly] left a third of the way through the season, all players stayed with us, which was pleasing at the time. There’s talk of certain players maybe leaving and we know some of our players have already been approached by other clubs. My concern was that if the club didn’t make a decision sooner than later, then we’d be behind the eightball.
If players leave, I’ll shake their hand and wish them well. As I said at the dinner the other week, where are you going to play where you’re going to better yourself? If players move on to better themselves, I’ll wish them well. So, what we need to know is which players will leave. We want a commitment out of the players who are at the club at the moment, I suppose, and then we’ll be talking to players on our wish list, that is, players we’d like to bring to our club, and I’ll be speaking to some of those. I’ll try and meet some of those players and talk to them and see what they think and try and attract those players to our club.
I’ve also said to the committee what I want in return. A lot of clubs don’t charge registration and that’s something we’ve got to address. All clubs have to be more professional in what they do, and we do too. Coming from England, as I do, you don’t hear about registrations. Players sign on and they get a club tracksuit, they get a club polo shirt and they get training gear. I suppose that’s a dream, but if you play that’s what you get. You’re expected to wear your tracksuit to all games, and all that sort of thing. If we can come up with something like that it’ll be good. The club has got to be proactive as well, and more active as well. The committee had been struggling with members. We need more members and more people involved. There’s work to be done on and off the field.
We’re going to have a club barbecue at the Prince of Wales Ground on the 31 October, which is a Sunday. The following few weekends there’s a senior licence course which Anthony and I will be going on, so [on 31 October] we’ll have an open day and welcome new and old players and welcome everybody there and let people know what we’re doing. We start [pre-season] training on Monday, 22 November.
We know we’ve got to strengthen the side. A goalscorer will be a priority, and there’s not many of them about. Corey Smith is an answer, depending on the situation. Hopefully, all players will stay and we’re looking at where we need strengthening. We need more depth in our squad to be competitive. We want to improve on this year, and there’ll be a lot of other clubs out there wanting to improve as well.
WP: What qualifications do you have?
NH: In Australia, all I’ve done is the junior and youth licences. I’ve done the Intermediate Coaching Course, but there was never eve a coach here to assess it. I’ll be attending the course in Campbell Town in November and, hopefully, Anthony Grundy will come with me on that course as he needs to be qualified as well. That’s the Senior Certificate Course.