Playing with freedom

By
Updated: March 12, 2016
Tom Limb (right) and Steve Owen lead Queenscliff off the ground following last year's Round 18 loss to Ocean Grove. Picture: AL PACKER
Tom Limb (right) and Steve Owen lead Queenscliff off the ground following last year's Round 18 loss to Ocean Grove. Picture: AL PACKER

Tom Limb (right) and Steve Owen lead Queenscliff off the ground following last year’s Round 18 loss to Ocean Grove. Picture: AL PACKER

TOM Limb feels like a kid again.

Free from the pressures of coaching, the Queenscliff great has attacked pre-season with the enthusiasm of a fresh-faced teenager.

“I just love turning up to training every night, not that I wasn’t enjoying it as a coach, I definitely was,” Limb said.

“But now, I’ve got this young kid feeling again of getting exciting just to turn up to training, run a couple of laps, get a footy out and start kicking with somebody, and ready just to have just to have red-hot crack when training starts.”

The 29-year-old spent four seasons as coach of the Coutas, sharing the role last year with injured defender Steve Owen.

His time in the role reaped two premierships and another finals appearance, making him the club’s most successful coach in the Bellarine era.

However, Limb was comfortable with the decision to step down at the end of last season.

“I think with hindsight, I look back to the decision that was made, it was definitely a worthwhile decision for the club, as well as for me,” he said.

“Sure, at times, it’s a little bit different to sit back. But there’s not one stage where I felt like that’s been too difficult that I haven’t been able to have my say still or get involved.

“I think it’s just finding that balance of allowing the new coaches to take control, and take us in the direction we’re wanting to go, and still get involved when they need me as any other leader of the club to be involved.”

Limb and Owen announced their decision to hand over the reins late in the season and the veteran midfielder admits he felt a weight lift off his shoulders once it was confirmed he wouldn’t be going on in 2016.

“Whether it was coincidence or not, I started to play some of my better footy in those last few games of the year,” he said.

“So I’m excited to see what that might mean for the season ahead, whether I can get back to playing some good footy and really making sure I can do what I can for the side.

“I think the stepping back from coaching will only be positive in that aspect.

Queenscliff appointed former St Joseph’s pair Andrew Hodgson and Jono Casey in November and Limb and Owen were more than happy to sit down with the rookie mentors shortly after their appointment.

“We had a good chat to them about the club and a few things,” Limb said.

“We’ve just had general chats with them here and there and we support them where we can.

“But they’re doing a great job. They’ve got the boys going in the right direction.”

With the burden of worrying about the health and well-being of 50 players lifted, Limb has been able to focus on getting himself physically prepared for 2016.

“Touchwood, I’m tracking quite well at the moment, doing the work I need to do, but also pacing myself appropriately, and making sure when Round 1 comes I’m hitting my peak.

“I guess it’s just being smarter with my training program, and when you start those little niggles just monitor them.

“But so far this pre-season’s been great, I’m feeling good, feeling fit, feeling strong and ready to enjoy a year of footy.”

Twitter: @tom_king79