Couta duo up for challenge

Updated: October 14, 2015
Andrew Hodgson (left) and Jono Casey have been appointed co-coaches of Queenscliff. Picture: AL PACKER
Andrew Hodgson (left) and Jono Casey have been appointed co-coaches of Queenscliff. Picture: AL PACKER

Andrew Hodgson (left) and Jono Casey have been appointed co-coaches of Queenscliff. Picture: AL PACKER

THEY may be the youngest co-coaching duo seen in local football, but newly-appointed Queenscliff mentors Andrew Hodgson and Jono Casey are ready for the challenge of returning the Coutas to the BFL finals after missing out in 2015.

Hogdon, 26, and Casey, 24, both arrive at the club on a two-year deal after playing a key role in St Joseph’s GFL reserves premiership less than three weeks ago.

“Whilst we’re quite young – I’m 24 turning 25 shortly and Hodgy’s a year or so older than me – I think we bring a youthful look on coaching,” Casey said.

“I know the last couple of coaches here have been (appointed) at the age of 25.

“You can relate really well to the group you’re playing with and you’re coaching alongside, so I think we bring that side to it.

“Obviously being with Jamo (St Joseph’s senior coach Heath Jamieson) the last couple of years, we’ve learnt how to build a really good culture around a club – not that this club doesn’t have it already, I think that’s been built from years back.

“But we can maintain that, I think, and getting good people to the club and creating a bit of excitement with the guys as well.

“We’ve played 100 games of senior footy at GFL level as well, so we can bring some experience to a league that’s just below the GFL.”

Casey says the Queenscliff link with Jamieson – who guided the Coutas to their drought-breaking 2011 flag – played a role in getting he and Hodgson to the club.

“Commitment-wise, for me, I thought it was good for Andrew to jump on and do the co-coaching role as opposed to being a single coach, which was discussed at one point,” he said.

“But I thought it would be great to get him involved as well because we’d certainly discussed it (coaching) during the year.

“So that was really how it started and these guys were happy to come and meet Hodgy as well and go from there and things have actually worked out extremely well from our point of view.

Hodgson, who spent two years as an assistant coach with Colac league club Western Eagles in 2012-13, says he isn’t place any expectations on the group with the season still five months away.

“It’s a tough one to answer when you’re so new to the club and the league, and you don’t know the full extent of the list,” he said.

“But finals is certainly what you want to play and last year we know the side missed out by a game – if they win that last game against Ocean Grove they play finals – and you never know, you win a final or maybe win two.

“It’s certainly on the cards. We’re not going to say we want to finish sixth or seventh or win eight games.

“We certainly want to get the best out of the group, and hopefully what we bring can help do that.

“Whether or not it’s one or two more to come in to top it up, on the other side there was a lot of injuries here.

“If we can field a full squad, there’s no reason we can’t be really competitive with the top end teams.”

Twitter: @tom_king79