Sunday, December 25, 2022

Merry Christmas and happy New Year

 Photo:  The new artificial surface at KGV Park is looking superb. [PlessPix]  

I wish all football followers  -  players, officials, referees, administrators, volunteers, club members, media and fans  -  a very merry Christmas and a happy New Year.

All the best of health, fortune and success in 2023.

I am not on social media, but many people have made me aware of the numerous  congratulatory comments that have been made in regard to my induction into the Football Australia Hall of Fame on 12 November 2022. 

I am deeply humbled by the honour, and by the comments from my former students, friends, colleagues, acquaintances, family members and people involved in the game here, interstate and overseas.

Never in a million years did I expect it.

I hope the 2023 season will be a beauty and that the local game will rise to new heights.

I can hardly wait for the new season to start.

The early signs, such as the refurbishment of KGV Park, are promising.

The new artificial pitch is in place and is looking superb, while the new floodlights look like the real thing at last.

The best of luck to every club, and to everyone involved, in whatever capacity, in our beautiful game.

Photo:  One of the new floodlight towers at KGV Park. [PlessPix]
Photo:  I can hardly wait for the first night game at KGV Park next season. [PlessPix]

Photo:  Let there be light at KGV Park. [PlessPix]

Friday, December 2, 2022

Shackcloth new Eagles coach after 20 years at the club and his first aim is to complete a hat-trick of titles

Photo:  New Eagles coach Adam Shackcloth (left) with the hugely successful previous coach of the past two seasons, Tommy Fotak, who is now the senior technical director at the club. [PlessPix] 

New Town White Eagles have appointed Adam Shackcloth as their senior coach for the 2023 Southern Championship season.

He replaces Tommy Fotak, who coached Eagles to the Southern Championship league title for two years in succession.

Eagles were the champions in 2021 and 2022.

Fotak becomes the club’s technical director for the senior program.

Photo (L-R):  Eagles' new coaching team of Adam Shackcloth. Wade Savage. Tommy Fotak, Jack Harrison and Nick Taylor. [PlessPix] 

Shackcloth, who was Fotak’s assistant in those two title-winning seasons, will have Wade Savage and Jack Harrison as his assistants.

The technical director for the club’s junior programs will be Nick Taylor.

The facilities rebuilding program at Clare Street is progressing well and will be completed in time for the start of the 2023 season.

Shackcloth is looking forward to being senior coach.

“It’s always a challenge when you’re going for three in a row and you all of a sudden become the hunted,” Shackcloth said.

“We’re looking forward to seeing what 2023 brings.”

Photo:  A story I wrote about Adam Shackcloth making his Eagles' senior debut in The Mercury in 2006.  

Shackcloth, 34, is a former Eagles player who made his debut with the club in 2006.

He said it was too early to say if the club would recruit new players for the 2023 season.

“We probably won’t know until pre-season in January, but what we do know is that when you have success it brings people along,” Shackcloth said.

“Our doors are always open and year after year we’ve seen new talent come in.

“I expect the same next season.”

Photo:  The coaching staff in one of the new dressing rooms. [PlessPix] 

Shackcloth said Eagles’ ultimate aim was to play at the highest level possible and did not rule out promotion to the NPL Tasmania top-flight competition in years to come.

“That’s been our focus for the past three or four years now and we’ll continue to develop in areas that Football Tasmania is asking for in terms of NPL criteria and we’ll keep chipping away at that,” he said.

“But, at the end of the day, for us, we just want to make sure that we’re a place where anyone can play football and, if that ends up being at State League level, which we aim to achieve., then excellent, because we want to have that top-flight success again.

“But, we also want to make sure there’s somewhere for the kids to play and to feel at home so that they don’t hop, jump and skip clubs.”

Photo:  Work in progress at Clare Street. [PlessPix] 

Shackcloth is delighted with the way facilities are being improved at Clare Street.

“This is my twentieth year at the club and it’s the first time I’ve seen carpet in the change rooms,” he said.

“I’ve got to put that down as a win, and it’s a credit to the committee working with the State and Federal Governments to get the funding we needed to get this project off the ground.

“The new facilities are going to make a huge difference to morale and the welcoming factor when people do come to the ground because it’s not just those old raggedy rooms that have been there since the year dot.

“They are now warm and inviting and it may bring more players but certainly a better environment.”

Photo:  Clare Street, the home of New Town White Eagles. [PlessPix]