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01
April
2017

High expectations for Grubbers

“I haven’t come here to finish second or third”.
When Paul Lynch says something, he means it. The new coach of Ocean Grove’s first words to the media after he signed on aren’t just a collection of words. They carry substance with it. A harder-nosed approach and a winner’s mentality is what the Grubbers hope Lynch can provide, and coax his new team back to the top 4.
Lynch arrives at Ray Menzies oval with one of Geelong football’s most impressive coaching CV’s. He led Lara to the GFL flag in 2002, guided Colac to their maiden GFL Premiership in 2014. In between that, he held roles at Portarlington in the BFL and Birregurra in the CDFL, whom he led to a premiership in 2011.
When outgoing coach Wayne Walsh told the Grubbers, it was to be no more, Ocean Grove worked tirelessly to get their man.
They now have renewed hope.
It is Lynch’s previous work with Colac that looms as the most integral to his new home. For so long, the Tigers were a nearly club of the GFL, always lurking with top end talent, but struggled to hold onto their own youngsters to the easier geography of the CDFL, rather than driving down the highway every fortnight. Lynch however slowly changed the fabric of the club, collating a nucleus of players that would hold them in good stead and vitally retained the majority. He was also big on the promotion of youth throughout his time as a Tiger, something that will come in handy at Ocean Grove, with a high percentage of the list nearly straight out of the junior program.
Lynch set in place a system in which youth could grow around the experience; Leigh Gorwell, George Steven, Tom Rieniets and Ethan and Campbell Floyd not only got a taste of senior football, but became integral parts of it. Now Lynch will look to perform the same job with names like defender and vice-captain Matt Caldow, Riley Maloney, Harry Walker, James Peers and Tom Hobbs.
Of course, the promotion of youth and surrounding them with a solid senior base is hardly revolutionary, and doesn’t guarantee success- but you get the feeling Lynch is content with what he has got at his disposal. The additions of Thomson star Brent Macleod, Pete Hardy, fellow ex-Tiger Jake Carmody and Dan Maloney coming back to the Grubbers after 38 goals at St Jospeh’s last year, and there is reason for their optimism.
After sustained dominance from Ammos, Ocean Grove and Paul Lynch are well set to rile the established ground.

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