Toby Prime, Knox Leader
NEW Boronia mentor Matt Clark says the club’s exciting young list convinced him to continue his coaching career after departing neighbouring Wantirna South. Clark said he intended to have a year away from coaching in 2018 after a seven-year stint at Walker Reserve. But the prospect of developing Boronia’s emerging players proved too good an opportunity to turn down. Clark replaces Peter Brown, whose contract was not renewed after the Hawks missed finals this year despite recording more wins than 2016.
“That was probably my mindset the whole way through to take a year off, but it was such an attractive club that the way they presented, it talked me out of that,” Clark said. “The whole way along I was leaning towards, strongly leaning towards, taking a year off just to reset but when Boronia’s job became available I think it was probably too good (an opportunity) to not take.”
Clark said the prospect of working with Boronia’s young talent, which includes a host of former TAC Cup players, enticed him to take the top job. “I’ve admired them from afar, just how impressive their whole off-field set up has been and they’ve blooded a lot of kids so credit to the previous coach,” he said. “I think they’ve got a bit of work to do but they’ve got the potential to get improvement.”
Clark, who will be joined by former Devils assistant coach Steve Teakel, took Wantirna South from Division 3 to Division 2 after winning the 2014 premiership and steered it to last year’s second-tier decider. He said he was hopeful of achieving similar success at Boronia.
“I’m confident that what I can bring and support I’ll bring, if matched by their enthusiasm, we’ll get improvement but where that improvement takes us is hard because I don’t know the players,” Clark said. “I’ve spoken to a few of them on the phone already and I’ve been absolutely impressed with their attitude and willingness to want to go places.”