Atkins appointed Laurimar coach

New Laurimar coach Jimmy Atkins. Picture supplied

Tara Murray

New Laurimar coach Jimmy Atkins is excited by the youth and future of the Northern Football League division 3 club.

Atkins, who previously coached Whittlesea and has been assistant coach at Montmorency the past couple of years, was named as the Power’s new coach, replacing Justin Sherman.

Sherman had guided the Power the past three seasons, including the 2020 season which was cancelled due to COVID-19.

Atkins said returning to a senior coaching role at some point was always in the front of his mind.

“I live in Laurimar and the opportunity to coach my home team is nice and it’s good for the family,” he said.

I’ve had a relationship with Justin, having coached him at Whittlesea, and I’ve been impressed with what they’ve been doing and the kids coming through.

“I spoke to him and to a few other people and heard a lot of good things and we now have to take that next step.”

Atkins said the first focus was getting the boys back on the track after COVID-19 wrecked the 2020 season.

He said he had spoken to most of the playing group and no one indicated that they aren’t returning.

“That’s credit to the club,” he said.

“I’m confident in signing most of the list. My priority is the current playing group and looking at the juniors coming through the ranks.

“We might add a couple of players, but the players coming through are my priority.”

Atkins said it was exciting to see some of the players from the club’s first teams in 2011, two under-9 teams, are starting to come through into the senior ranks.

“They’ve been there the whole time and they’re keen as mustard to play seniors.”

Having made finals for the first time the past two years, without breaking through for a win, Atkins said that was their first aim next season.

In a statement on its Facebook page, the club said it was excited to announce Atkins as coach.

“Jimmy is a highly respected, experienced player and coach. He played over 200 senior games with Whittlesea, Hurstbridge and Kinglake, including premierships in 2003 & 2013.

“Jimmy shares the clubs’ philosophy and vision for development of our junior players into senior ranks.

“He has a strong club spirit and great personality that endears him to all.”

In other coaching news, the club has reappointed Scott Toull as its women’s coach for next season.