New coach to lead Mushies

OXLEY Vale Attunga Mushrooms will head in a new coaching direction when they start the new Northern Inland Football Premier League season with high-profile non-playing coach Tim Coates .

Coates is looking forward to the challenge of heading up one of the PL’s top clubs.

Beaten 1-nil by Tamworth FC in last season’s PL first grade grand final by a Matt Gardner goal, the OVA Mushies have opted to go for a non-playing coach after a succession of player coaches.

Last season’s player-coach, Lachlan Browne, spent the first half of the season recovering from an ankle operation.

He said he was looking forward to playing under Coates.

Coates has already tended his resignation as deputy chairman of  Northern Inland Football.

“I’ve already sent that to Steve Griffiths,” he said.

“I wasn’t going to be refereeing this season either.”

A former Tamworth Football Association chairman, he has had a long history of refereeing as well as coaching junior and senior sides in the local Tamworth FA as well as coaching junior teams in the State Youth League.

He took an Under 16 side to a State Youth League grand final a few years back.

“I’ve coached a few Hillvue teams to local premierships, the 16s to a State Youth League Final and did the Kootingal Kougars one year in the old Premier League.

“That was about 2004 or 2005.”

It lasted just 12 months.

“We got beaten 16-nil by North Armidale in one game,” Coates recalled.

“So I’ve always wanted to have another shot.

“It’s always been a challenge. I wanted to have another go at.”

So when OVA president Craig Dunn contacted him before Christmas, he had a good think about it.

They talked again a few weeks ago and on Monday he gave a verbal undertaking “with rules”.

Coates is very strong on discipline and providing a healthy atmosphere for juniors to be fostered.

He thinks he can help develop the good young players the OVA Mushies possess in their ranks.

“I know it’s a hard challenge,” Coates said.

“But I look at what Gavin (Thompson) has done at North Companions. He’s produced a great improvement in their club.”

He hopes to improve the Mushies as well.

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