Sport

Duo ready to Roar - Co-coaches named for 2018

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December 07, 2017

Cobram Roar president Michael Startari with 2018 season co-coaches Manny Artavilla and Bill Puckett.

Cobram Roar has appointed its new senior men’s coaches for the 2018 season, with co-coaches Bill Puckett and Manny Artavilla taking the reins.

The Roar committee opted for a co-coaching set-up with Puckett as playing coach and Artavilla as non-playing coach.

The new coaches will have big shoes to fill as they replace outgoing coach Adam Gatcum, who has moved to the GV Suns following a successful three years.

Gatcum’s lengthy list of achievements included a premiership in 2015, a league title in 2016 and a grand final appearance in 2017.

Puckett brings a plethora of coaching experience. He has coached junior sides at the club since arriving in 2015 and has previously coached a senior men’s outfit in Iceland.

Puckett said he grew up surrounded by the game, with his dad playing at a professional level.

‘‘I’ve played under and learnt from a lot of great coaches in my time,’’ he said.

‘‘I’ve learnt a lot of different styles and I’m keen to apply that at the club.’’

Puckett said his goal for the senior team was to be competitive despite losing some players from last year’s impressive season.

‘‘I have no doubt we can reach the play-offs. From there, anything can happen in the finals,’’ he said.

‘‘I will be able to obtain first-hand knowledge as playing coach. I will be involved and see what’s working and what isn’t.

‘‘That will be strengthened by my partnership with Manny. I believe we can achieve a lot when we put our heads together.’’

Artavilla brings plenty of coaching credentials to his new position, and led the Cobram Victory reserves to an undefeated premiership season in 2011.

A local boy, Artavilla said he hoped to bring his experience and knowledge of the game to the team.

‘‘The senior team were runners-up last season so we want to improve and take that next step,’’ he said.

‘‘I also want to help bring younger players through and develop them into senior players of the future.

‘‘Young players have always been a big focus of the club and I want to continue that.

‘‘I’m excited to work with Bill. We have big shoes to fill but the players will benefit from some new voices.’’

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