An old favourite returns to Macedon to coach again

Al Meldrum in his playing days at Macedon. Picture Shawn Smits.

By Tara Murray

Macedon has turned to club favourite and former coach Al Meldrum to coach the senior side next year.

The Riddell District Football League club announced on Friday night that Meldrum would return to the club and have his second stint as coach.

He replaces Ben Tankard, who stood down after two years in charge.

Meldrum said he was keen to get to work. He was playing coach between 2011-13 and previously coached Heathcote for three years.

He has been playing with workmates at Avoca the past few years.

“It is a really long association,” he said. “I played all my juniors and a couple of stints playing and obviously coaching and I’m looking forward to just focusing on coaching.

“I’m getting too old to play and I’ve always been passionate about the coaching side.

“The position was vacant and I really wanted to put my hat in the ring. I’m grateful to Dom [Andreacchio] and the club to give me the opportunity.”

Meldrum takes over a side which finished sixth.

He knows he’s got plenty of work ahead of him with the club struggling for depth and having no under-19s this year.

Meldrum said those two areas were at the top of his priority list, as well as getting stability at the club.

He said when their seniors had been up the top, their reserves had usually been up there too.

“It’s a pretty exciting time with a lot of hard work to do.

“Local talent is the main focus and getting under-19s back on the park and attracting players back to the club.

“I’ve heard a lot of noise about us being on the way down, I don’t think it’s the case.

“I think we have to be smarter with strategy and we have to look at the long term.

“We need a lot of things to go right and concentrate on the young people.”

Having been part of the club before, Meldrum said he would look to use his contacts to get people back to the club.

He said even if people didn’t want to play, getting them back around the club and involved was still important.

With Macedon being one of the smaller towns in the competition, they can’t afford to be losing players to other clubs.

“Since 2010 that would have been hundreds who would have played for the club who have been lost to the club.

“I’ll contact a lot of people and be selling the vision of the club. We want to invest in young people.”

Meldrum said they also wanted to improve the bond between the junior and senior clubs to make the transition between the two a lot smoother.

The senior coach is leading from the front, also taking on the under-9 coaching role.

Meanwhile, Cats skipper James Wright won his fifth club best and fairest award and was awarded life membership at the club.