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A NEW coaching set-up at Hurstbridge has been the perfect backdrop to a raft of experienced players re-committing to the club following last year’s preliminary final finish.
Rob Dyson and Trevor Frost, friends for over 40 years, will combine in the Bridges coaches’ box this season, in a set-up that has worked wonders over the pre-season.
The duo will look to continue Hurstbridge’s steady development, with the club entering the 2016 season on the back of its most successful Division 2 season since winning the 2003 premiership.
Dyson, who coached the Bridges to the 2003 Division 2 flag, said he is looking forward to working with Frost, who has coached Wallan over the past two years.
“It’s been good. We’ve been friends since primary school,” Dyson told NFL.org.au.
“When I first started coaching, (Trevor) used to come up as an assistant coach, around about 2000, so I’ve actually worked with him before.
“The players seemed to be really working with it. It’s been working well.”
While last year’s playing-coach Michael Ryan has moved on to Lower Plenty, Hurstbridge has kept the majority of its playing list intact.
Among those who have re-committed to club in 2016 are Jarrod and Hayden Tilley, Brayden Shaw, Micheal Farrelly, Tyron Loader and Chris Burton.
“All the experienced players have stayed and they blooded a few young players last year, I think we’ve got about four or five blokes who played a lot of games last year and are still under-19s this year,” Dyson said.
“We’ve got a good mix, that’s for sure. We have a lot of experienced players who’ve played first division.
“Even our mid-tier players like the 24 to 25-year-olds, they’re going to be in for a good season as well.”
Young gun Tom Simpson has had a fantastic pre-season, also training with Essendon’s VFL side, and Dyson expects the young gun to continue developing as one of the club’s leading players.
“He came back a lot fitter from Essendon. He’s still under-19s too, but I don’t think he’ll be playing 19s very often. His pre-season since he’s been back has been terrific,” Dyson said.
Alisdair Jackson, a defender from Mooroolbark in the Eastern Football League has joined the Bridges and has had a promising pre-season despite suffering a knee injury.
Meanwhile, Dale Eames has returned to the club after playing with Langwarrin last year and will be a playing assistant coach this season.
“(Alisdair) is a very experienced defender and has played a lot in the EFL,” Dyson said.
“He’s going to be in the leadership group and he hurt his knee in the practice match against Macleod but he should be back in Round 2 or 3.
“He’s been really good with his experience around the club with the younger players.
“(Dale) is a very versatile bloke and can play in many positions.”
With the co-coaches in full swing and a number of playing assistant coaches on board, the pre-season has been an ideal opportunity to trial the new set-up.
“We spoke about it a bit in the games we’ve played so far (this pre-season),” Dyson said.
“(Trevor will) do a line and I’ll do a line, because Michael Farrelly’s also a (playing) assistant coach. We’re going to have lines coaches that are actually playing and also not playing.
“We’ll do the lines first, then I think we’ll go through the KPIs, then either Trevor or I will speak at the end of that.”
The mateship of Dyson and Frost since primary school looks to be a strength in the coaches box this season, with full trust placed in one-another.
“When you’ve known someone for 45 years and you’ve got trust in them, I don’t think there’s going to be an issue,” Dyson said.