Competitive edge for new Port Macquarie Magpies coaches

In charge: Riley Irwin and Blake Nelson will oversee the Magpies under-18 side this year.
In charge: Riley Irwin and Blake Nelson will oversee the Magpies under-18 side this year.

USUALLY, the competitive nature of brothers brings out the best in them.

And the Port Macquarie Magpies will hope that rings true with their under-18 side this year as they aim for their fifth successive grand final appearance.

In charge of keeping the recent impressive record in tact will be coaching trio - brothers James and Blake Nelson along with Riley Irwin.

"The under 18s have made the grand final the last four years in a row and won three in a row before last year," Blake said.

"That hunger and motivation from losing the grand final will hopefully spur some of the players on this year."

While admitting coaching players who will be of similar age would be a challenge, Blake was confident he would have the respect of them after being teammates with most of the squad in previous years.

"It might get a bit tough especially when the time comes to give them a spray," he said.

"We want to give everyone a run and make sure they're having some fun; winning isn't that important."

Co-coach Irwin had a different perspective.

"I'm keen for the challenge and the main aim will be to get that premiership," he said.

The coaching staff haven't had the chance to run a training session with just the under-18 players on their own although they were hopeful that would happen soon.

"We haven't had a full training session yet, but we have been training with the first grade side," Blake said.

And why did they all want to take over on the coaching side of things without any previous experience?

"I was just keen for a challenge."


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