Roy West has been at the club over 20 years but in 2012 he has taken on the job of A-grade coach with Brothers.
Roy West has been at the club over 20 years but in 2012 he has taken on the job of A-grade coach with Brothers. Sharyn O'Neill

Stalwart takes on new role

AFTER 23 years with Brothers there are very few positions Roy West hasn't held at the club.

This year the club stalwart takes on a new role as the A-grade coach.

"I coached the reserves for two years and so I thought it was time to give it a go," he said.

In those two years West took the Brothers reserve side to a flag in 2010 and a grand final last year.

Now he has the job of getting Brothers A-grade side back on track after it failed to reach the finals just one year after winning the flag.

West said 2011 had been a difficult one with the death of star small forward Aiden Colbourne rocking the club.

"We lost six or seven players last year," he said.

"It was a horrible start to the year with the floods affecting our ground."

One section of Kele Park was underwater and a lot of remedial work has been done to get it ready for this year.

West said he expects improvements this season with players getting back into training as early as November.

"We've had a good core of players to training and we are also working on a lot of things outside football," he said.

"The club is trying to get mateship back into football.

"We want to try and build a decent squad where players take responsibility."

In a major boost for the club, Brothers has signed experienced player Ben Hinton who played his football in Victoria with a division one club.

"Ben is an on-baller and with his experience he should bring something to the club," West said.

"With him there it should take some of the pressure off Scotty (Smithwick).

"Scott has been our Mr Fix It, it will be nice to play him in a position where he doesn't have to do everything all the time."

While gaining the experience of players like Hinton is a big advantage in the short-term, West is also looking at the bigger picture and bringing players like Rockhampton Grammar's Ben Cumming through to the top grade.

Unlike some coaches, West won't be drawn into predicting how his team will go this year.

However, he does see the premiership as an interesting competition as five of the six teams will have a new coach in charge.

Reigning champion BITS is the only club with no change of head coach.

"I expect all the teams to be strong, the standard of football last year was good," West said.

"With new coaches they will probably bring a different style of football."

West would not be drawn on how Brothers will play their football in 2012 but did state that his game plan would be simple.

"For a bush football league you can't make things too complicated," he said.

"All you can do is have your plan and tweak things to make it work."

Veteran Wayne Clifford is making himself available for senior team duties as well as coaching the under-17s.

"It is great to have a person like Wayne to pass on his knowledge to players," West said.

Brothers will begin the season with trial matches. On March 3 the Hervey Bay Power visit Kele Park, and then on March 10 Brothers meet Sunshine Coast Jets at Maryborough.

The club also intends to stage inter-club matches prior to the start of the season.



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