Deniliquin Rams have elevated star on-baller Todd Gallagher to senior coach after he served the past two seasons as an assistant to Gary Parsons.
The club made the announcement yesterday, with the 25-year-old saying he is excited to be taking on the role.
‘‘I’ve grown up around the Rams footy club and I’m very thankful to the club for giving me this opportunity ... it’s something I’ve always wanted to do at the club I love,’’ Gallagher said.
‘‘The club has shown real faith in me and I’ve already had a lot of people within the club offer their support, which I’m very thankful for. My intention is to have a strong support network around me, which is what you need when you’re a playing coach.
‘‘I’ve had two seasons as an assistant coach under Gary and I’ve learnt a lot from him.
‘‘I’m really excited about what’s ahead for the club, and in particular the senior playing group.
‘‘We have some really talented kids coming through in the next couple of years.
‘‘Player numbers have been a bit of a battle in recent years, so that’s something we really want to address in the off-season ... building up numbers so we have a competitive reserves side on the paddock. The more people around the place and at training, the more enjoyable it is for everyone.’’
Gallagher says he expects to keep all players from this season and announce a couple of new signings.
This year the Rams finished in eighth position on the Murray league ladder with seven wins from 18 matches. Gallagher says he hopes to build on that next year.
‘‘I think a lot of people saw that (seven wins) as a bit of an over-achievement, but I didn’t think so.
‘‘I have real confidence in the playing group and the youngsters coming through.’’
Rams president Scott Barlow welcomed Gallagher’s appointment, saying it’s a win for the club and the result of some succession planning.
‘‘Credit must go to Gary Parsons; he was happy to take on the job for a couple of years when he probably didn’t have much more he needed to prove as a coach. Gary knew it would be a developing side and we identified Gags (Gallagher) as someone with coaching potential a couple of years ago,’’ he said.
‘‘Gags has now stepped into the role and we couldn’t be happier; he’s a guy who loves the club, he’s played over 100 senior games for us and finished third in this year’s O’Dwyer Medal count which is a testament to his talent. ‘‘We’re really excited about what he brings to the table and we know our young players coming through are in great hands.’’