By Paul Pickering
“SICK and tired” of delivering warnings, Ellinbank and District Football League officials last week stripped four teams of all premiership points for having unaccredited coaches.
Ellinbank’s seniors, Nar Nar Goon and Kooweerup’s reserves and Lang Lang’s fifths effectively started their seasons from scratch on Saturday as a result of the ruling handed down at last Wednesday night’s club delegates meeting.
Victorian Country Football League rule 16.0 states that all coaches must have completed at least a Level One coaching course.
EDFL officials have shown discretion in implementing the rule in recent years, but league president Roger Gwynne last week put the blowtorch to irresponsible coaches and club officials.
“We’re sick and tired of telling them, but in the end they just don’t turn up (to the advertised courses), so it’s their own damn fault,” Gwynne said.
“You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make it drink.”
Ellinbank, victorious just once in the first four rounds, was docked four points for its haste in ensuring that senior coach Ross Glover had completed his accreditation course.
But the Nar Nar Goon reserves were the worst hit by the penalty, losing 12 points and plummeting from third place on the ladder. Kooweerup’s reserves had won a single game, while the Lang Lang fifths – or under-13s – had won two of their four matches.
Nar Nar Goon president Mick Keane said the loss of points was due to “an oversight on the club’s behalf”, acknowledging that EDFL officials had given the clubs four rounds to ensure that their coaches had completed the Level One course.
Keane said the situation was disappointing for the playing group and supporters.
Gwynne agreed, urging clubs to be more pro-active in the future.
“They’ve got to take some responsibility these blokes,” he said.
“The coaches and administrators have got to realise that it’s not them that it’s going to hurt, it’s the kids and blokes playing football.”
By Paul Pickering