Newly appointed Laurimar men’s football coach Jimmy Atkins has set a goal for the club to breakthrough for its first senior finals win when football returns in 2021.
The Power have shown plenty of promise in their first three seasons as a senior entity, which includes Heidelberg Golf Club Division 3 finals appearances in each of the past two seasons.
Atkins, who previously coached Whittlesea during its three-year stint in Division 1 between 2016-2018 and served as an assistant coach to Garry Ramsay at Montmorency in 2019, takes the reins from Justin Sherman.
Speaking to NFNL.org.au, he said the opportunity to coach an up and coming team was a main factor that attracted him to the club.
“They’re a young group, and obviously they’ve been coming the last year or two,” Atkins said.
“They stand for what I stand for, so it was something that just worked out really well for me.”
With COVID-19 restrictions in Victoria limiting his ability to meet face-to-face with the playing group, Atkins has contacted the playing squad by phone to outline his vision for the 2021 campaign.
“I’ve spoken to all of them on the phone,” Atkins said.
“I’ve been able to catch up with a few of them little bit more over the past week or two as restrictions have lifted a bit more.
“But I haven’t been able to have the opportunity to personally meet a lot of them at the moment, but that will come which will be good.”
With formal pre-season training yet to commence, Atkins said the players have been training in small groups as per government guidelines as they prepare for the new season.
“We’ve been encouraging the players to catch up in their groups,” Atkins said.
“They’ve been active in their groups, keeping up their fitness and having a kick of the footy.
“It’s also great for their mental health as well, catching up with their mates which is important.”
Laurimar is yet to win a final since at senior level, having lost its three previous finals by an average margin of just eight points.
Atkins says breaking the finals hoodoo is something the club is looking to address in the upcoming season.
“The number one goal is to be able to get everyone back together again,” Atkins said.
“After that the expectation would be to be playing finals footy again and looking to win that first final as Laurimar hasn’t had the opportunity to win one yet.
“That would be one goal, to win a final.”
Atkins is confident the club has a list capable of reaching that goal, saying that strong recruiting over the past two seasons has put the club in a good position to contend in 2021.
“No players have departed at this stage,” Atkins said.
“Also, the club has recruited well over the past two years, so we’ve haven’t had to do much recruiting over this off-season.”
Talented youngster Jarod Coco will be one inclusion after lodging a transfer from Longwood. He made his senior debut under Atkins at Whittlesea back in 2018.