By David Nagel
Cranbourne premiership coach Simon Goosey has cited the need for a new challenge as the main reason for his decision to leave the club after three years at the helm.
Goosey’s future has been playing on his mind during the latter half of the season, and his final decision to move on was made on Sunday – just 24 hours after the Eagles back-to-back premiership hopes were crushed by Narre Warren in the preliminary final.
He confirmed his decision with club president Shane Baker on Monday.
He spoke with players individually at Monday night’s SEFNL presentation dinner, and has been on the phone explaining his decision to the remainder of the group this week.
Goosey coached 55 games at the club, ending with a 45-10 record, a premiership, a runner-up finish and a third placing this year.
The rumour mill has been in overdrive over the last few weeks that Goosey will now return to his former club Mornington, where he kicked more than 1700 goals in a stellar career. Goosey wouldn’t confirm those rumours, instead concentrating on a successful stint with the Eagles.
“There was nothing sinister behind the decision, I just analyse my personal position each year, and it just felt like the right time to move on, for both me and the club,” Goosey said.
“The club’s in a really good place, we’ve brought a heap of kids through the ranks, but I just need that extra stimulation and a new challenge. Travelling from Mornington to Cranbourne for training, the little things build up and on Sunday night I finally made the decision to move on.”
Now a five-time premiership coach – he coached four with Mornington – Goosey took over the reins at a difficult time at Casey Fields. Doug Koop was moved on at the end of 2013, with his replacement Scott Sutherland lasting just one season.
The legendary goal kicker relished the challenge of taking the club forward, and is proud that he is leaving the club in a better place than he found it.
“That’s always been my philosophy with coaching, and I think the club has some tremendous kids coming through the ranks,” he said.
“The club wasn’t in a great place when I arrived but, as a competitor, that’s one of the things that attracted me to the role in the first place. I spoke with the leaders, and they just wanted to learn more about footy.
“I think we’ve changed the attitude, brought some positivity to the place, and won a premiership which creates a lifetime bond with the players. I love the players, and I hope they stick together, because being part of a footy club like Cranbourne is a pretty special thing to have happen. The players have been great, they’re understanding and supportive and a few are a bit disappointed, but in a positive way.”
Goosey wanted to thank a few people for their ongoing support.
“The players have been fantastic, and I want to thank them for their efforts in embracing a new game plan and turning that into success,” Goosey said.
“Shane Baker and the committee have been fantastic, the whole club, the supporters, I couldn’t have asked for more. You invest a lot into a footy club as coach and that’s why it was such a difficult decision to leave. It’s sad, but clubs have always been bigger than the individual and the club will attract a good coach … it’s a pretty sought-after role.”
Baker was quick to sing Goosey’s praises.
“Simon was fantastic for our club, taking over at a difficult time, he steadied the ship and brought a new level of professionalism to the club,” Baker said.
“We can’t thank him enough for the efforts he put in to make our club a better place, and we wish him all the best for his future endeavours.”
Baker confirmed the club is immediately on the hunt for a replacement, and is keen to hear from interested parties.