Having played and held coaching roles far and wide across Victoria, Justin George is now looking forward to the opportunity of rebuilding Reservoir.
George was last week announced as coach of the Mustangs’ senior men’s football team.
He has previously served as senior coach at Shepparton Swans in the Goulburn Valley Football League and Kilsyth in the Eastern Football Netball League.
Among his other roles include serving as a senior assistant and midfield coach at Richmond Central, Parkdale, Maribyrnong Park, West Coburg and NAB League side Sandringham Dragons.
Speaking to NFNL.org.au, George said the opportunity to help rebuild Reservoir appealed to him.
“I’ve been through a club rebuild before and have a plan of what I wanted to do and how I wanted to go about it,” George said.
“When I presented that to the administration at Reservoir they were on board and had the same process as I did.
“It just seemed like a good fit.”
George acknowledged there was plenty of work to be done but was excited about the opportunities that present for the young Mustangs.
“(I’m) excited to be given the opportunity to try and turn it around,” he said.
“They’ve been through some hard times, but they’re a proud club. This’ll be their 99th year, 2023 is their centenary, so we want to build towards having a big centenary year.”
George has previously worked alongside the likes of Daniel Harford at Balwyn, Brodie Holland at Maribyrnong Park and Digby Morrell at West Coburg.
He believes the experience gleaned from working with those from the AFL system and his teaching style will help improve Reservoir.
“Our focus is going to be on improving fundamentals, improving our fitness, and improving our decision-making,” he said.
“If we can get the foundations into our players and it’s a young list, hopefully there’s some natural progression there as well as they mature into senior players.”
However, he’s under no illusions about the size of the task at hand, with the Mustangs last experiencing a win back on July 29, 2017.
“We’re coming from a fair way back. We’re the very bottom of the NFNL and we’re 120 points below being competitive,” he said.
“We’re really desperate to get wins on the board, but we understand that it’s a process and if the wins don’t come in 2022, they’ll come in 2023.”
In a major positive, George said the club had re-signed most of its playing group and was looking to bring in more players over the off-season.
“The club’s in a really strong position where they’ve re-signed 95 percent of their players, which is fantastic.
“We’re already on the recruiting trail, looking to sign some new players. Hopefully there’ll be some announcements (soon).”
He’s also excited about next year given how tough the past two Covid-impacted seasons have been for everyone involved in local football.
“I can’t wait to get back. The last two years have shown us the importance of community sport and what a huge role it plays in our community, our society.
“I’m desperate to get back just for the excitement and the atmosphere.”