JAKE Reid begins his fledgling coaching career at Tamworth’s Minor League fields this evening.
The former Bendemeer backrower tackles his first coaching assignment with the Mountain Men, a club he played with for 16 seasons.
While he has coached some junior teams and assisted with the North Tamworth Under 15s, this is his first senior coaching job.
“Got any hints,” he joked when the Bendemeer players and committee gathered at the Family Hotel for a big hams raffle day on Saturday.
“There’s a first time for everything,” he added.
“It will be a challenge for sure. But I’ve got a few hints off Dall (Dallas Taylor), Ken Thompson and Hyson (Paul Hyson).
“I’ll take a bit out of their books.”
What Reid wants to do is put a bit of the “old Bendemeer” into the new generation of players.
“I think we’ll be strong. We should go all right.
“We’ve signed a few up already.”
While he played for Bendemeer for 16 years, he celebrated two premierships.
“1995 and 2000,”Reid said.
“‘Although I didn’t get on the field in 2000. I sat on the bench.”
He’d injured a knee and sat out that success but also remembers other near misses.
“One stage there we were gallivanting all over the place to play grand finals.
“I played down at Denman and got beaten down there, then went to Texas and got beaten up there and then played Uralla at Uralla the next year and got beaten there too.”
At Uralla he was The Leader’s man of the match but his inspirational effort wasn’t enough to kick them over the line on a wet and disappointing day for the Bendy boys.
While he’s in his first term as coach, Scott Saunders returns from 12 months off to reassume the president’s reins.
He is also a former Bendemeer player and is looking forward to a good year.
“Jake will be good for us,” Saunders said.
“He’ll go all right.
“We’re going to be strong too and things are looking up with the players as well as the sponsors.”
Reid said the Mountain Men would have their first training session this evening, starting 6pm at Tamworth’s Minor League fields.
“We’re going to have a few training sessions before Christmas,” Reid said.
Having Barry Walton back on board as a trainer and assistant is a bonus for the club too, Reid said.
Walton is also the regional coordinator of the Westpac Rescue Helicopter Service, a charity which is now the charity of choice for the Mountain Men.