Steve Reeves will add another string to his coaching bow next month.
The experienced football mentor is taking on the Vic Country head coaching role for the upcoming AFL National Inclusion Carnival in Tasmania.
Reeves’ son Jackson will don the Big V jumper again this season after snaring 15 goals at last year’s carnival to lead the way for his side.
‘‘I went over there last year and watched Jackson play and I got involved a little bit,’’ Reeves said.
‘‘The application came out this year and I thought that it was something I’d really like to do.’’
The inclusion carnival provides an opportunity for the best footballers with an intellectual disability in the country to play for their state in a premier representative tournament.
Eight squads will take on the challenge in Launceston from June 18-23, with every state and territory competing alongside Vic Country and Vic Metro for the chance of a lifetime — a grand final clash played as a curtain-raiser to the round 14 AFL match between Hawthorn and Gold Coast.
‘‘We get over there and play four games on the Tuesday and four on the Wednesday to get a standing of which group we’re in — whether we’re in the top or bottom four sides,’’ Reeves said.
‘‘Then we play against those sides and the top two get to play as a precursor to Hawthorn and Gold Coast.’’
The format of the matches is slightly different as well, with 16 players in each team, but only 12 on the field at any one time.
‘‘We think that we’ve assembled a pretty good squad,’’ Reeves said.
‘‘You get four forwards, four mids and four backs, so it’s wide open and you’ve got to be able to move the ball very quickly.
‘‘You’ve got to keep your rotations up because the mids will get tired pretty quickly.
‘‘We’ve only got three players over 25 and three under 18 in our side, so we think it’s a pretty good mix.’’
With experience coaching interleague and various senior football teams, Reeves believes the best way to victory next month is to get back to the basics.
‘‘You’ve got to be able to communicate really well, but it’s mainly about getting the basics right and executing those skills,’’ he said.
‘‘Everyone in the team has the ability and is fit enough, so hopefully if we get the basics right it will show on the scoreboard.’’
Reeves highlighted Vic Metro as the team to beat when action starts.
‘‘Vic Metro are obviously the side to beat,’’ Reeves said.
‘‘They have the population base and can train together every week, which is harder to do in the country.
‘‘But we’re really looking forward to it.’’