Montmorency will embark on a new era in 2022, with the Magpies’ men’s football team unveiling a new leadership structure, which will be overseen by senior coach Garry Ramsay.
The two-time NFNL premiership coach will continue in the top job at Montmorency Park but will be assisted by former skipper Jesse Donaldson, who will serve as an on-field coach.
Last month the club announced Donaldson would assist Ramsay in team selection, video reviews, game style, as well as guiding all players on-field on match day.
Speaking to NFNL.org.au, Ramsay said he hoped the new structure would help improve the Magpies in their quest for finals success.
“We decided to have a look at things from a different angle that maybe if we have an on-field coach that could really help Jesse’s development and the players’ development,” Ramsay said.
“With that, we hope to implement a system that hopefully can deliver some coaching as it’s actually happening and not wait until quarter time and not wait until mid-week.”
A four-time NFNL representative captain and five-time Division 1 Team of the Year member, Donaldson said the idea piqued his interest when first brought up.
“I sat down at the end of the year once we knew it was all done and dusted and just had a bit of a chat with ‘Gaz’,” Donaldson said.
“He saw I was a pretty good fit in terms of where I’m at now in my footy and where I want to go down the track.”
As part of the club’s leadership restructure, Donaldson will hand over the captaincy to emerging stars Sam Binion and Stefan Uzelac.
Donaldson believes the duo will be terrific long-term leaders for the Magpies.
“Those two boys are great leaders in their own right already, and we think it’s the perfect time to put them into that role,” Donaldson said.
Montmorency returned to finals action in Ramsay’s first season at the helm in 2019, after a four-year absence.
But following two Covid-interrupted seasons, Ramsay believed it was the right time to implement leadership changes.
“It was a manner of looking at some different ways that we could fast-track our improvement to meet our expectations,” Ramsay said.
Ramsay said he was excited to work more closely with Donaldson and was looking forward to seeing how he adapted to the new role.
“All that stuff behind closed doors, your relationship with players and the rest of the club, community things like that. Those are the things that he does so well, they’re the things I’m hoping to get as much information from him as I can,” Ramsay said.
“We’re really excited to be able to use Jesse to his full potential and to give him that freedom to see football from a different angle and to use his talents.”
Montmorency has made a promising addition to its playing stocks for 2022, signing EFNL Premier Division Team of the Year ruckman Liam Wale-Buxton from Vermont.
Donaldson said he was buoyed by the addition of the talented ruckman.
“I had a little chat with him, I’m keen to hit the ground with him and am looking forward to seeing him do his work. It’s very exciting,” he said.
Ramsay believed the addition of Wale-Buxton would assist others in the Magpies’ line-up to play in their regular position.
“It will give the opportunity for Stefan (Uzelac) and Connor Dalgleish to play more of their preferred roles, rather than having to ruck them the whole time,” Ramsay said.
“Connor can be an outstanding key backman or forward and winger and Stef will be an outstanding centre half back and now we can let them settle into those positions.”