Gem of a coach

October 26, 2017

Former Victorian Bushranger and Richmond Tiger Nick Jewell will coach Seymour next season. Picture: AAP

Seymour has turned to a former dual-code star to lead it into its next Goulburn Valley League campaign.

Nick Jewell, 40, has been handed the keys to the Lions’ den and is anticipating a strong season for his new charges.

‘‘I’m really excited,’’ Jewell said.

‘‘It’s a huge opportunity in a terrific league, I’ve done a fair bit of homework already and the side has been very well coached and it has a terrific age group, so hopefully I can work on and build on that.’’

Jewell is the son of Richmond premiership coach Tony, and played one AFL game for the Tigers in 1997 before focusing on his cricket career, which netted him 62 first-class and 14 list-A matches for Victoria between 2001 and 2010.

More recently Jewell has been plying his trade on the Mornington Peninsula with stints at Rosebud (where he coached a premiership in 2015) and Sorrento, but stepped down from the latter role in July.

Just last month Jewell was linked with the Pines and Karingal coaching jobs, as well as a chairman of selectors role at Rye, but an impending move to the north of the state has given the experienced veteran the opportunity for a fresh start.

‘‘There are always personality clashes and differing perspectives, but as you get older and wiser you hope you learn from every experience,’’ he said.

‘‘The guys that I’ve met on the committee up here already look like a professional unit, so I can’t wait to get involved.’’

By Jewell’s side will be Lions stalwart Jason Cole, with club president Craig Velt confirming yesterday that the star had been appointed as a playing assistant coach, allaying fears he would take up one of a number of rumoured lucrative offers elsewhere.

‘‘Jason was certainly a popular candidate from other clubs, but we’ve locked him in as assistant coach,’’ Velt said.

‘‘That’s great for the club, he’s a super quality player and we were very keen for him to remain.

‘‘Obviously there were some pretty big carrots dangled in front of him and that would have made his decision harder.’’

Fellow midfield bull Andrew Sturgess will not be returning though, following Hugh Robertson (Strathfieldsaye) and outgoing coach Brent Colbert (retirement) out the door.

‘‘Andrew Sturgess won’t be able to play as he has landed the assistant coaching gig at Coburg, so he’s going to have to commit all of his time to that,’’ Velt said.

‘‘Colby announced his actual retirement last month and Hugh is moving to Bendigo for work and is building a house.

‘‘We respect people for making life decisions, they’re more important than footy, and no-one is leaving for the wrong reasons.’’

Jewell believes Seymour’s depth is sufficient to cover the top-end losses — especially if he is able to bring some more talent into his new club.

‘‘Obviously (my appointment is) a little bit later than usual, but I’ve already spoken to a few people and we have a few options,’’ Jewell said.

‘‘With the VFL having no reserves team there are opportunities there as well, so we’ll go through the names.

‘‘But it is about what we need as a club, not just what is available.’’

No stranger to hard work, Jewell will be doing everything he can to take the Lions at least one step further than this year’s preliminary final exit.

‘‘The players will always know where they stand with me, I will have left no stone unturned during the week at training,’’ he said.

‘‘It takes a lot of hours to be a good coach and I love putting the hours in, I’ll give the players and club 120 per cent and hopefully I get the same back.’’

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