The North Ballarat Football & Netball Club has made headlines this week by announcing Brendan McCartney as the new Senior Football Coach.
In what has been described as a ‘coup’ for the Roosters, McCartney has penned a deal securing him as the Senior Coach until 2023.
McCartney boasts an extensive AFL coaching resume, having been the Senior coach at the Western Bulldogs from 2012 to 2014, and an assistant coach at Richmond, Geelong, Essendon, and Melbourne. McCartney has also achieved significant local football success, masterminding four consecutive premierships at Bellarine-League club, Ocean Grove.
Former colleague Mark “Bomber” Thompson was impressed by McCartney during their time together at the Geelong Cats. “He’s been a tremendous coach for all the time I’ve met him, and we’ve sort of helped each other become who we are today. He just knows his caper, he’s got a huge desire to work and help and develop people, and you can’t help but be impressed by him.”
The role of Senior Coach will also include development of the North’s Junior players and teams, along with the re-establishment of a Club wide Coaching Academy to provide mentoring and leadership for the Football & Netball Coaches.
Club President Leon Jones was delighted with today’s news. “We see Brendan as the perfect man for our Club, his extensive experience at AFL level along with a commitment to development, welfare and leadership aligns with what we are trying to achieve as a Club. We welcome Brendan to the Club and can’t wait to see him start in his new role!”
The enthusiasm for the future was not lost on McCartney. “I’m really humbled to be offered the opportunity to become Senior Coach of North Ballarat Football Club. It is a great honour, and I’m looking forward to helping lead a Club which is aligned from Juniors to Seniors, and play a role in developing football in the Ballarat community.”
McCartney’s aptitude for player development will certainly hold him in good stead at North Ballarat. Prior to signing with the Western Bulldogs as Senior Coach, former colleague James Hird was full of high praise for his then Assistant Coach. “I can’t imagine there’s a better coach in Australia in the way he develops players and teaches them to play football,” Hird said of McCartney. “I’m surprised someone like that hasn’t had a chance at senior level, because in my time in footy I don’t think I’ve met a better coach.”
Players who have played under “Macca” also commend his professionalism. “First and foremost, he genuinely cares about his players,” said 2009 Geelong premiership captain Tom Harley. Geelong won two premierships during Macca’s time at Kardinia Park, and he was named the AFL Coaches’ Association’s Assistant Coach of the Year in 2010.
North Ballarat will be hoping McCartney’s proves to be a line in the sand, as it aims to once again taste Senior football premiership success, with their most recent grand final victory occurring back in 2014.