By Justin Robertson
BERWICK Football Club president Cliff Donegan is tickled pink about their stellar recruit.
Carlton premiership player and former AFL utility Dean Rice has just been appointed head coach and development coach – and Donegan said it’s just what the club needs.
“We had a lot of very good candidates and we felt he was the best,” Donegan said. “We thought he would ignite a bit of enthusiasm around the place and he’s also prepared to work with young people and pass on his experience to all the young blokes.”
With recent key behind-the-scene departures, including secretary Trevor Byrne and club official Brett Montgomery, having Rice as a prominent figure will be a big boost for the club’s profile.
“Trevor has been a great asset to the Berwick Football Club and they are pretty big shoes to fill,” Donegan said. “And Brett has been a very good worker and has put in a lot of time and effort into the club with construction and things like that.”
Donegan said a massive bonus at having Rice as coach is that he lives in Berwick.
“That’s one of the reasons why we appointed him – he lives just around the corner, “he said. “That’s a big plus for us.”
As the Berwick Football Club looks to move forward with their young crop of players, Donegan said Rice will be able to pass on his experience and teach them to be long term players for the club.
“We want him to develop our list and develop them into very good players,” Donegan said. “And Rice is very keen to take on that role.”
While pre-season dates are still to be confirmed, Rice will make his first official appearance at the club on 15 November at a “welcome the coach night”, an introductory evening for players, officials and members.
“We pretty rapt to have him (Rice) and we believe he was the best applicant for the job,” Donegan said. “We reckon he’s prepared to put a lot of work into the youth and that’s what we want.”
By Justin Robertson